Thursday, September 2, 2010

Khoo Kongsi

Khoo Kongsi was completed around 1906 in the heart of Georgetown, Penang. The temple belongs to the Khoo Kongsi clan. The temple features fine Chinese architecture and craftsmanship.

The Leong San Tong Khoo Kongsi complex consists of the clan house Leong San Tong, an administrative building with a meeting hall and office, an opera stage and 62 units of terrace houses and shophouses. Its main building Leong San Tong which is majestically built and intricately decorated is perhaps the grandest clan house masterpiece of southern Fujian architecture in S.E. Asia.

The complex is not easily spotted for first timer here. It is located at Canon Street. From here, there are plenty of signboard to point visitors to the right location. Entrace fee of RM 5 will be charged for visitor entering the complex.

In 1835, when the Khoos gathered to celebrate the birthday of the Patron Saint "Tua Sai Yah", they realised the need to establish a clan house to unite and look after the welfare of the clansmen as well as to worship their ancestors. Therefore, 102 clansmen congregated and decided to set up the "Ee Kok Tong". A sum of 528 Straits dollars was collected during the meeting and it was deposited as investments for more than 10 years. In 1850, the Khoos bought the present site in the name of "Tua Sai Yah" and converted the building into a clan house the following year. The clan house was named Leong San Tong (literally "Dragon Mountain Hall") in honour of the Chan lineage in Leong San, Chuan Chew prefecture, from which the Sing Kang Khoo clan originated.

It enshrined the deity of "Tua Sai Yah" which was brought all the way from Sing Kang, as well as tablets of ancestors of the 1st to the 5th generation.

Various plaques of the clansmen who achieved their achievement in term of education and professional career.

The main truss of the Prayer pavilion is delicately decorated with wood carvings that are gilded and painted for a resplendent and magnificent effect.

The clan house has the most spectacular ridge decorations among the southern Fujian architecture heritage established in the late Qing dynasty.

The "pai tou" showing the pavilion scenes on top of the Prayer pavilion is spectacular. Under the sun, the pieces of mirror and colourful porcelain shards shine dazzlingly.

The most obvious western influence in the architecture of the building is the wrought iron fencing of floral motifs which was custom made in England.

The 2 statues of the turbaned watchmen at the Prayer pavilion somehow seem to blend into the environment

The diao tong is a short column hanging on the beam under the eave. It has function of load-bearing for the eave.

The panels at the front wall of "Cheng Soon Keong" depicts the 24 folklores on Filial Piety. It reminds the Khoo clansmen on the importance of filial piety.

A pair of the giant green stone lions guarding the courtyard

The Administrative Building in colonial style is the place where the clansmen hold meetings and settle clan affairs.

The pediment of the Administrative Building has the decorations of the "Tai Chi Nine Stars" and "Double Bats". There is also a sculpture featuring a lion biting a sword. These decorations have the symbolic meaning of keeping away evil spirits

The Opera Stage which directly faces Leong San Tong is majestic as well as elegant. The screen wall of the opera stage has nine panels. The centre of the panels in the middle has round openings with square frames which are decorated with delicate carving of the dragon and incense burning motif


escape said...

this is a great structure. actually a treasure. the first shot captured my attention the most. nice that they preserved it so well.

Robo said...

This is really nice! Beside the photos, I like the history of it too! Hopefully I will have some spare time for my Penang trip this time to visit this marvelous landmark of island.
Thanks for sharing.

I AM A BLOGGER said...

this is definitely a very nice heritage!

Bengbeng said...

i never went inside i cant imagine why... may it was bcoz i wasnt a blogger yet then