|The majestic Penaga Hotel in Penang. The interior lounge says, "This is a 'green' heritage building".|
|Class and classic welcome. Reception counter at Penaga Hotel|
|Warm, wise and firm sofa.|
|A peek into the past, now. View of the lobby and reception counter from outside.|
|Entrance to the restaurant on the ground floor. Wall on the right is pitched with a good feng shui I guess.|
|Ana my wife, in front of Khalil Ibrahim's nelayan series|
|Collection of paintings on display at Penaga Hotel. The one in the bottom picture is by Yau Bee Ling (if I'm not mistaken)|
|Collection of sculptures|
Many different parts of a hotel's exterior and interior can be read as 'textual materials' that signify different connotations - political, economy, social, cultural, technological, historical, geographical etc. Amalgamation or convergence of these texts and the resulting reading in the mind (especially on the sub-conscious level)of an audience creates interesting dialogues. I call the whole convergence of architectural and interior design, soft furnishing and curating as a system (of organic emotional design) that is rich with coded language, waiting to be decoded by a discerning mind. It displays an interesting emotional-feedback dialogue that can be nourishing for the heart and mind.
A painting can be taken as a part of a hotel's wall feature that is having a dialogue with its surrounding interior - other wall features, furniture, lighting, flooring, ceiling features, signage etc. The dialogue may be intended or unintended, pre-determined or open-ended. A carefully placed artwork may become a part of a clever interplay of significations, to create a certain desired ambiance or vibe in its customers' subconscious mind. Like a theater production, an artwork (and other features) can be taken as 'actors' that play his/her part in constructing a story. The part and story can be fixed or flexible.
|My sister, Kak Yong with one of the works on display in Penaga|
|Vintage signage and room bell|
Since my student days, checking out artworks that adorn hotel spaces and walls have become one of my normal routines during a stay. It includes naming the artist (or making a lucky guest when it comes to works that I'm not familiar with). The highlight would be discovering the works of my close friends. The down side would be having to stare at mass-produced 'originals' before I go to sleep.
I guess such routine has become my way of enjoying the dialogue between the many different 'actors' or 'texts' (especially paintings) in a hotel's interior. Now, I take it as a form of private mental exercise in decoding deeper connotations embedded within such dialogue.
I had such exercise the last two days in a recently opened Penaga Hotel at Hutton Street, George Town, Penang. With the help of Laila and Radhy, I checked in my sister Kak Yong and her husband Abang Taha (my brother in law) at Penaga Hotel as my small gift to them (of course they happily obliged but later refuse my allow me to pay the bill).
|My sister kak Yong and her hubby, Abang Taha, in front of Penaga Hotel.|
|No, where are not in Europe! This is the main entrance of Penaga Hotel|
|Luxury in room no. 8|
|Abang Taha, Kak Yong and Ana my wife, exploring and enjoying the interior of Penaga|
|Exploring and enjoying the exterior - mini pool, herb garden and spa|
I saw the works of my friend Ahmad Fuad Osman and others. Of all the works on display, I found Ahmad Fuad's series of witty digital collages very fitting. The digital works are by themselves inter-textual already. They feature appropriation (more like visual quotation of) old historical photos surrounding Malaya's independence, with a subtle and witty (if not hyppie) twist. The works blend well with the interior. They also stir a subtle and clever dialogue with the whole colonial setting, without being too loud.
|Energy efficient light along the corridor|
|Ahmad Fuad's artworks|
It was a happy reconciliation with Ahmad Fuad's works and a nourishing exercise of inter-textuality at Penaga Hotel.
(Pictures, partly hijacked from Laila's fb album.)