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Dolphins in MBPP's Coat of Arm

๐ƒ๐ข๐ ๐ฒ๐จ๐ฎ ๐ค๐ง๐จ๐ฐ ๐ญ๐ก๐š๐ญ ๐— ๐—ฎ๐—ท๐—น๐—ถ๐˜€ ๐—•๐—ฎ๐—ป๐—ฑ๐—ฎ๐—ฟ๐—ฎ๐˜†๐—ฎ ๐—ฃ๐˜‚๐—น๐—ฎ๐˜‚ ๐—ฃ๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ฎ๐—ป๐—ด (๐— ๐—•๐—ฃ๐—ฃ) ๐‚๐จ๐š๐ญ ๐จ๐Ÿ ๐€๐ซ๐ฆ๐ฌ ๐Ÿ๐ž๐š๐ญ๐ฎ๐ซ๐ž ๐š ๐ฌ๐ž๐ญ ๐จ๐Ÿ....๐๐จ๐ฅ๐ฉ๐ก๐ข๐ง๐ฌ?


๐‘‡โ„Ž๐‘’๐‘›, ๐‘™๐‘œ๐‘๐‘Ž๐‘™ ๐‘Ž๐‘Ÿ๐‘ก๐‘–๐‘ ๐‘ก ๐ป๐‘œ๐‘œ ๐น๐‘Ž๐‘› ๐ถโ„Ž๐‘œ๐‘› ๐‘Ÿ๐‘’๐‘–๐‘›๐‘ก๐‘’๐‘Ÿ๐‘๐‘Ÿ๐‘’๐‘ก๐‘’๐‘‘ ๐‘กโ„Ž๐‘’ ๐‘Ž๐‘›๐‘–๐‘š๐‘Ž๐‘™ ๐‘Ž๐‘  ๐ผ๐‘˜๐‘Ž๐‘› ๐‘‡๐‘’๐‘š๐‘๐‘Ž๐‘˜๐‘ข๐‘™


It's quite a head-scratching moment when you realised the odd-looking fishes are dolphins. After all, they are quite elusive in this part here, isn't it?


According to MBPP's website, "Dolphin is a heraldic symbol associated with the sea, symbolising the abundant marine life in the waters around Penang and it also depicts a joyous and happy mood associated with Penang' distinction as an international tourist destination"


Local artist Hoo Fan Chon digged deeper: "I was intrigued by the colonial and baroque aesthetics of the Penang Island City Council's (MBPP) coat of arms. A few of the key motifs draw its reference from Renaissance-era visual symbols, including the dolphin and ceremonial acanthus plant on the heraldic design."


Basically, heraldic dolphins โ€” a British element often mistaken for dragons or seahorses โ€” is a legacy from the British master.


So, Hoo reinterpreted George Town's Coat of Arms to include a mudskipper, a native fish known locally as ikan tembakul.

Hooโ€™s other innovations include localising the plant species which crowns the coat of arms, and rewriting its motto. Itโ€™s a great conversation starter on the remnants of colonial influence in Penangโ€™s visual culture, and how we could (and should) pay more attention to the stories contained in our symbols.[1]


"I think a good piece of work is one which people feel they can relate to," Hoo notes. [1]

The artist's interpretation of MBPP's coat of arms is part of his solo exhibition in January 2020.




๐‘ณ๐’๐’—๐’† ๐’๐’–๐’“ ๐’„๐’๐’๐’•๐’†๐’๐’•? ๐‘ท๐’“๐’†๐’”๐’” ๐‘ณ๐’Š๐’Œ๐’† ๐’‚๐’๐’… ๐‘บ๐’‰๐’‚๐’“๐’† ๐’•๐’ ๐’”๐’‘๐’“๐’†๐’‚๐’… ๐’•๐’‰๐’† ๐’๐’๐’—๐’†!โค๏ธโ€๐Ÿ”ฅ

Sources: [1] https://penangartdistrict.com/biro-kaji-visual-george-town/ [2]https://oforother.malaysiadesignarchive.org/Bermimpi-Demi...

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