Enjoy hunting for Baba Nyonya related Malacca art and antiques in Jonker Walk or find paintings in art galleries when strolling around in Malacca : the new art Mecca of Malaysia.
Babas and Nyonyas are Chinese descendants that have adopted much of the Malay culture into theirs. They are also known as ‘Straits Chinese’ or ‘Peranakans’: the descendants of the early Chinese immigrants to the British Straits Settlements of Singapore, Malacca and Penang.
Baba refers to the male descendent and Nyonya refers to the female descendent.
Wikipedia has a complete definition at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peranakan
Malacca art in Jonker’s Walk
Jonker Walk or Jonker Street is actually called Jalan Hang Jebat on the street signs.
Jonker’s street has been around since 1641. Jonker stands for "Jonkheer" or ‘young fellow’, as opposed to the Dutch ‘lords’ or "Heeren" who were living in Heeren Houses at Heeren Street (Jalan Tun Tan Cheng Lock).
The old buildings at Jonker street house many shops, food stalls, antiques and fashionable goods. It’s extremely busy during Friday and weekends, especially each evening when the night market opens. When you are only hunting for antiques and art ware, we recommend you visit Malacca during a weekday.
Malacca art ware on sale includes:
- Buddha images
- antique blue and white plates
- old vinyl records
- paintings and
- fake antiques.
If you are a tourist and not in the mood to spend lots of money on art, then fakes are a great alternative. Most of the antiques on sale are sourced by runners while some are brought in by people who wish to dispose of their old things.
A teapot valued at RM700 (about $200) in the 90s will now be priced between RM3,000 ($1000) and RM4,000. Especially when you have no clue about antiques, by all means by a cheap and good replica.
As like everywhere in Malaysia on the streets: do bargain with the sellers.
Malacca attracts new Malaysian artists
Malacca is quietly developing into a Mecca for Malaysian artists.
A steady stream of artists, potters and other artisans have been settling in Malacca over the last 15 years. .
At one end of the town, at the foothill of St Paul’s Church, for just RM10, you can get three pictures of Malaccan landmarks done quickly and on cheap materials. All done by local artists selling oil paintings, water colors and sketches plus copied from old pictures.
Moving deeper into the old quarters of Malacca, you will find yourself looking into the many artists’ studios offering a wonderful array of different artwork.
Malacca street art
When walking in the streets of Malacca, keep your eyes open, as you will find art anywhere, like graffiti on walls.
Melaka art on somebodies car or the impossible to miss wall of Charles Cham’s Orangutan House :
The Orangutan House
Visit the Orang Utan House – Jalan Tukang Besi (Blacksmith Street) – and buy original art T-shirts from Malacca born Charles Cham. The Orangutan House is an studio-gallery housing the contemporary paintings and a large collection of art T-shirts from Charles Cham.
When Charles Cham was 5 years old, he saw a movie about an artist with a magic brush. Everything he painted became alive. When Charles came home that day after the movie, he started to draw a portrait of the painter on the floor with some cake powder belonging to his mother. That was his first portrait.
He designs T-shirts (from RM20 – $6 – onwards) for his “bread and butter” and later developed his own brand of artworks that may not be as easy to sell as his wearable art.
Charles Cham showing his works in his Orangutan House
When you prefer pictures that are clear in their meaning, Jehan Chan could become your favorite Malaysian painter.
Do visit 70 year old Jehan Chan in his Art Gallery and home at No. 124 Jalan Tan Cheng Lock , 75000 Malacca Malaysia. (opposite the Baba House Hotel).
Jehan Chan is a graduate (1960) of the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts in Singapore. His art gallery and home is at No. 124 Jalan Tan Cheng Lock (06-282 0370).
Jehan experimented with water color collage on crinkled rice paper in the late 80’s. A technique he perfected ever since. In 1992, he started painting the carps he reared at home.
Nowadays Jehan is well-known for these popular pictures of carps in ponds and his stylised scenes of Sungai Malacca at sunset (see picture above in red). His work is easy to take home: it’s not so abstract and not too photographic.
Although his paintings are well priced now, his works only started to be collected during the last 10 years. As usual, when a good painter gets older, his works become better priced. Before getting famous, Jehan Chan got by with teaching and breeding dogs.
Sometimes called the father of Melaka art, Jehan Chan is an example for many of the young artists hoping to make it big in Malacca.
Tham Siew Inn
Not only inspiring but also established artists like Tham Siew Inn move to Malacca.
The above Tham Siew Inn Artist Gallery is located in the middle historical Melaka at 49, Jalan Tun Tan Cheng Lock. The location offers an unique fusion of gallery, workshop, garden and living space.
Tham Siew Inn was born in Kuala Lumpur in 1946 but left Klang, Selangor a few years ago to set up a home, workspace and sales room in Malacca with the help of his two sons.
Why did he move away from Klang? Because Malacca:
- is much cheaper to rent and to live in compared with Klang or KL,
- has the same atmosphere for art and artists as Bali and Cheng Mai and
- has a ready traffic for the art market.
Tham Siew paints mainly watercolours of landscapes – both urban and natural -, figures and abstracts.
He was awarded Malaysia Watercolour Society Award in 1986 and Silver Award in HongKong Bank “Natural Malaysia” competition in 1991.
Art and antique shops
Malacca Art Store
Find the Malacca Art Store at 110 Jalan Hang Jebat. Inside you can buy an array of imported Chinese artifacts, memorabilia and collectibles like:
- ink-brush paintings
- furniture and
- replicas of Baba Nyonya ware.
We repeat: these artifacts are from mainland China and therefore not to be confused with Straits Chinese antiques.
Other Antiques Stores in Jalan Hang Jebat = Jonker Street
- K&S Antiques House
No. 22, Jln Hang Jebat, 75200 Malacca
No. 25, Jln Hang Jebat, 75200 Malacca
- Hang Tuah Handicract & Souvenirs
No. 27, Jalan Hang Jebat, 75200 Malacca
- Kowloon Antiques Shop
No. 38, Jalan Hang Jebat, 75200 Malacca
- Fatimah Antik Stor
No. 46, Jalan Hang Jebat, 75200 Malacca
- Malacca Junk Store
No. 55, Jalan Hang Jebat, 75200 Malacca
- Tian Wai Antiques & Aris
No. 57 Jalan Hang Jebat, 75200 Malacca
- Abdul Company
No. 79, Jalan Hang Jebat, 75200 Malacca and
93 Jalan Tun Tan Cheng Lock, 75200 Malacca:
The first antique shop to open in Jalan Han Jebat in Malacca was called Three Abdul. Owned by Indian Muslims in the early 80s, it has since changed hands among family members who have also opened this Abdul outlet in addition to the Fatis and Lagenda antique stores.
Other antique shops in Malacca
- Legenda Antik
2B-29-2, Jalan Kesidang 3/6 Bachang, 75200 Malacca
- Modern Antique (Malacca) Sdn Bhd
67-67A, Jalan Kota Laksamana, Taman Kota Laksamana, 75200 Malacca
- Perabut Seni Ukiran Moden Antik
Lot F3, 1st Floor, Mahkota Parade, 75000 Malacca
- Tay Seng Kee Antique
No. 105, Jalan Tun Tan Cheng Lock 75200 Malacca
- Yan Keng Antique Furniture Sdn Bhd
432 Jalan Tengkera, 75200 Malacca
Complete list of Handicrafts & Art shops in Malacca
Since you will most likely visit Jonker Street or Jalan Hang Jebat as it is called in Malay, we highlited the art shops in this street in bold:
- Abdul Company-93, Jalan Tun Tan Cheng Lock, Malacca. Tel : 06-284 6676
Sells old kerises, swords, kebaya, short knives and cannons.
Old kerises and antique kebaya
- Abd Rahim Embi-Gerai Kraftangan MPMBB, Malacca. Tel : 06-284 7659
- Batik Mestika-116, Jalan Bendahara, 75100, Malacca. Tel : 06-282 1008
- Chop Yat Heng-29, Jalan Kg Pantai, Malacca. Tel : 06-282 3894
- Dillon Art & Decor-44, Jalan Tun Tan Cheng Lock, Malacca. Tel : 06-283 7779
- Golden Fort Curios Shop-69, Jalan Hang Jebat, Malacca. Tel : 06-284 5457
- Gold Moon Coins & Curios Trading-76, Jalan Hang Jebat, Malacca. Tel : 06-283 2718
- Goldas Handicraft-Bt 2 1/2, 3912C, Jalan Semabok, Malacca. Tel : 06-284 9042
- Hainon Bebe Sher Mohamed-Bazar MARA Alor Gajah, Malacca. Tel : 06-565 335
- Handicraft Stalls-Taman Merdeka, Bandar Hilir, Malacca.
- Handicraft stores along Jalan Taman (Jalan Merdeka), Malacca.
- Infocraft Centre-Jalan Kota Malacca, Malacca
- June Rao G15, Pasar Pelancong, Malacca.
- Kua Tack Hong-33, Kg Kuli Malacca, Malacca. Tel : 06-284 9452
- Klasik-25, Jalan Hang Jebat, Malacca. Tel : 06-284 1860
- Kumcheng Holding Sdn Bhd-107, Jalan Tun Tan Cheng Lock, Malacca. Tel : 06-284 5001
- Malacca Souvenir House & Trading-22, Jalan Tokong, Malacca. Tel : 06-283 7968
- Malacca Wood Work-312C, Klebang Besar, 75200, Malacca. Tel : 06-335 3468
- Malacca Handicrafts-619C, Klebang Besar, Malacca. Tel : 06-335 8614
- Malaqa House
The Malaqa House Museum is a well-kept 120 year old heritage building selling art, antique furniture, souvenir items, paintings, garden decorations and design items.
Malaqa House furniture
- Modern Antique (Malacca) Sdn Bhd-Lot 4, Kawasan Perindustrian Bkt Rambai, Malacca. Tel : 06-513 768
- Mohd Arom Hj Abdullah-8L, Jalan Hang Tuan, Malacca. Tel : 06-284 2357
- New Malacca Handicraft-10, Lrg Pandan, Malacca. Tel : 06-282 6107
- Ngoh Kim Hong-Gerai Kraftangan MPMMBB, Malacca. Tel : 06-284 1709
- Ong Kian Kok Incense Dealer Sdn Bhd-30, Jalan Tukang Emas, Malacca. Tel : 06-283 9287
- Orang Utan House (Art Gallery)-59, Lrg Hang Jabat, 75200, Malacca. Tel : 06-282 6872
- Perniagaan Thye Loong-36, Jalan Tukang Emas, Malacca. Tel : 06-282 2903
- Pusat Kraftangan-Tmn Mini Malaysia, Air Keroh, Malacca.
- Royal Selangor marketing sdn bhd-showroom, the City Bayview Hotel lot g09 SHOPPING arcade-Jalan bendera, Malacca. Tel : 06-284 9479
- Royal Selangor Marketing Sdn Bhd-Grd Floor, Jaya Jusco Bukit Beruang, Malacca. Tel : 06-325 448
- Royal Selangor Marketing Sdn Bhd-Mahkota Parade, Jalan Tmn Bandar Hilir, Malacca. Tel : 06-222 386
- Seni Purba Malacca- 9, Jalan Tun Tan Cheng Lock, Malacca. Tel : 06-283 1550
- Seniah Wahab-3, Perkarangan Muzium, Alor Gajah, Malacca. Tel : 06-565 266
- Senikraf Malacca Sykt-22, Jalan Tmn Merdeka, Malacca. Tel : 06-283 8244
- Syarikat Abdul-26, Jalan Hang Jebat, Malacca. Tel : 06-282 3633
- Sykt. Pemasaran Taman Mini Malaysia Ayer Keroh, Malacca.
- Tan Chong Keong Woodworks-3670, Bukit Pilah, Malacca. Tel : 06-282 0996
Malacca art summarized
Malacca is becoming the new art scene of Malaysia.
Malacca’s growing number of artists and craftsmen are building up at a steady paste. When visiting Malacca, you might really find it worthwhile to take an inspiring detour into its artist galleries.