GEORGE TOWN, Jul 19 – A building mimicking a turtle coming ashore will soon greet those driving in on the Penang Bridge towards the island, as a famed Sino-Singaporean artist will build a seven-storey art gallery that is set to become the state’s icon.
The 88,000sq ft Lin Xiang Xiong Art Gallery building by the eastern coastline of Gelugor will simulate a turtle coming up the shores, which signifies longevity, kindness and prosperity in Chinese culture.
The estimated RM88 million seven-floor building will include a Unesco Education Centre on the ground floor and spaces for the arts from all over the world.
The project is a collaboration between renowned artist Prof Lin Xiang Xiong and IJM’s Jelutong Development Sdn Bhd. It will begin in December this year and is expected to be completed at the end of 2021.
“It is a significant project which is reflective of our eastern culture and values. Penang’s arts and culture scene will see a big change once this gallery is completed,” Lin said in a signing ceremony with IJM today.
Earlier, Lin, who is Space Arts and Culture (M) Sdn Bhd executive chairman, signed a sales and purchase agreement with IJM to buy and develop a piece of 0.89-acre land owned by IJM at the Light City Gelugor seafront.
Lin is a world-renowned artist and entrepreneur, originating from Guangdong, China and is currently a Singaporean citizen. He has studied the arts in Singapore and France and has held scores of exhibitions around the world.
The signing was witnessed by Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow.
Chow supported Lin’s idea of creating a gallery by incorporating Unesco as an excellent strategy to foster collaboration to bring the UN cultural body to Penang.
He said the gallery would also attract a new segment of tourists consisting art enthusiasts would further elevate Penang on a global map, creating prominence in the arts sector.