OF THIS PLACE
An Exhibition about the “Datuk”
George Town Festival 2017
Big, bold and beautiful – the six images along Lebuh Chulia, in front of the Cantonese Association, introduce a Malaysian story that is close to my heart. I’m an historical geographer and the worship of the “Datuk” deity is about as historically geographical as a story can get. It’s about place and spaces and rocks and trees and rivers. It’s about the movement of people and their adaptation to a new environment. It’s about learning about others and respecting place and the values and beliefs that exist there. It’s about co-existing and being neighbours and being grateful for what home has given you.
The images in OF THIS PLACE have been positioned on Lebuh Chulia to draw attention to the current “Chinese” nature of Datuk worship. They are also adjacent to two Muslim mausoleums, that reflect the association of the Datuk with older, established practices of worshipping the holy man.