Secret Gardens of Earthly Delights

Ten sites, ten artists, ten gardens: this unique GTF2013 project is a secret waiting to be discovered! Working closely with gardeners, landscape and installation artists, and with the support of the City Council and Think City’s cultural mapping grant, this astounding and mind-bending site-specific projects is GTF’s second venture into public installations that capture the spirit and living heritage known to Penang and George Town.

Theatre of Ships by Joko Avianto

Location: MPPP Town Hall

The first is sin hi tai or ‘new theatre’ which refers to the public gathering place for recreation and performance. The second is taken from the physical location of the work — George Town, at the northeastern tip of the island. Historically, Penang is a cultural melting pot due to its strategic position as a maritime trading hub. The diversity of this influence has created a rich history that has become one of the island’s most defining characteristics.
Taking the structure of the boat as a symbol of the importance of the sea in Penang’s identity, Joko creates what he calls the ‘Theatre of Ships’ as a public ‘theatre’ for locals and visitors alike to come together and celebrate the enduring legacies of travel, trade and cultural exchange.

Ah Soh’s Place by Alex Lee
Location: Weld Quay
The Ipoh-based urban explorer, DIY advocate and greenie Alex Lee will work on a little green spot that sprouted an abandoned housing lot at 41, Weld Quay, George Town. He will build on this community garden managed with the neighbourhood to create a setting for scenes and memories reminiscent of the an old-style, traditional kitchen.

 Air Plants by Wong Keng Fuan
Location: Junction between Kapitan Keling Road and Carnavon Street
By introducing hanging air plants on a steel archway, a public alley behind Armenian Street diving two blocks of shop houses, the landscape designer and artist Fuan Wong creates a pleasant shade in an otherwise stifling and barren pathway, hoping to revitalise common spaces in the neighbourhood.

Mosaic  Koi Fish Pond by Adam Michalski 
Location: Armenian Street 
At a shady corner on the grounds of Armenian Street, in a site facing Cannon Street, the glass and mosaic artist Adam will create ba koi fish pond made from art glass and glass mosaic. 

"Within the pond are 8 art glass koi fish who's features have been embellished slightly for aesthetic purposes. 8 is a lucky number in Feng shui and in traditional Chinese paintings there are 8 colourful koi fish accompanied by a 9th black fish which would protect the owner from misfortune and harm."

Fireflies by River Lalang by Vin
Location: MPPP Town Hall
This enchanting landscape was conceived by Vin. At the site by the Town Hall, he transformed a superfluous river into a grassy channel of plants: lalang, cat whiskers, angel flowers, reeds and other willowy plants. These camouflage strategically placed fibre optic lights that light up at night, transforming the site into an experiential and imagined river. 

Some 1,000 units of fibre optics planted will light up at night, giving the fireflies effect to the garden.

Ora Tonu by James Rickard
Ora Tonu, meaning ‘to give life to something that is nearing the end of its life’ in Maori, is a collaboration project between George Town Festival 2013 and the New Zealand High Commission to Malaysia. The piece of Angsana wood was retrieved by the City Council workers at the felling of the tree in late May. To ‘give life’ to it, James carved it on site into the shape of an anchor and the piece was placed next to another Secret Garden,Fireflies at River Lalang.

The Last Tree by Low Chee Peng
Location: at the corner of Armenian Street and Beach Street
Lost against the world of mass-production and commercialism the cycle can be pictured as an abundant web of roots growing in the soil. It can also be pictured as the unforeseen future of our subsequent generations as if a tree dies, so does our future generation. Material used are oxidized steel and cultured marble.

Love Garden by Pe Yang Teng & Cassandra Chilton
Location: Turn into Love Lane from Chulia Street and find a small lane on your right with the blue stripes on the ground. Just trail the stripes and you'll bump into a quirky garden.
Love Garden is a collaboration between landscape architects Pe Yang Teng& Cassandra Chilton. Tapping into Love Lane’s colourful history and the hidden laneways of international cities, Love Garden challenges our perception of what constitutes a garden in an urban setting by making use of everyday objects prevalent in the streets of Georgetown to create a garden that is part quirky, part tongue-in-cheek and all fun.

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