19 Apr 2013: Kapitan Chung Keng Kwee’s Shen Zhi Jia Shu and Hai Ji Zhan

Yeow Wooi not only interprets [the mansion’s] cultural and historical values, but also affirms the eminent status of Kapitan Chung himself. (excerpt from the Foreword)

Kapitan Chung Keng Kwee’s Shen Zhi Jia Shu and Hai Ji ZhanKapitan Chung Keng Kwee 700px is one man’s tribute to an outstanding 19th-century mansion in Penang, the Shen Zhi Jia Shu and Hai Ji Zian, home of Kapitan Chung Keng Kwee (1821-1901). Among many other claims to fame, Chung Keng Kwee served as the leader of the Hai San, a Chinese secret society, during the Lurut wars of the late 19th century. Researched and written by Penang-based heritage conservationist Tan Yeow Wooi, this large-format and generously illustrated book captures, in photographs and words, the life and legacy of this famous figure.

kapitan-2In recent years, his residence was converted into the Pinang Peranakan Mansion on Lebuh Gereja, one of the island’s greatest jewels and tourist attractions. The house has been featured in several movies, including ‘Road to Dawn’ and ‘Little Nyonya’. This glossy architectural history examines the life of millionaire philanthropist Chung Keng Kwee, his role in local affairs, the building of the Pinang Peranakan Mansion, and the meaning of its intricate motifs and ornate carved screens. This beautifully illustrated book features hundreds of drawings and photographs accompanied by light, lively text (in Chinese and English) explaining technical aspects of the construction while evoking its vibrant legacy.