Today I went to visit Kuching Reservoir Park which is located at Pearse Road , a 10 minutes walking distance from Kuching City centre. There is a vivid and memorable story that I would like to share here of the park which I painted in mixed media ( water colour, felt pen and crayons) way back in 1982. This painting , now 27 years old is still in my custody and will be displayed at my 2nd solo exhibition scheduled in October this year in Kuching. As I see it today the very colourful ixora shrubs that nestled below the two trees are gone.
'Kuching Reservoir Park' in mixed media, circa 1982, 22x29 cm, Artist Collection.Gone too is the rich collection of water lily plants that floated in abundance in the pond. The side of the ponds where the two trees stood were protected by 'belian' timber planks and posts. Today however the embankment is protected by stone pitching. After 27 years the trees have really grown up and pleased to see today that the municipal council have tagged the names of the trees on the tree trunks ( viz 'Bintagor Laut' and 'Penanga Laut'). The Japanese bridge still retain its red colour but the railing that is seen at the far background is no more there. The railings were fixed on top of the reservoir wall then to allow visitors to have a higher view of the ponds. In recent years the dam wall was demolished and thus the red railing. The dam was erected more than 100 years ago to store water and filter them for the consumption of Kuching town population. Today it merely functions as a public park.
What captivated me then was the interplay of the sun's rays against the juxtaposition of colours of the liles, water, leaves, flowers and the red railings. Despite the lack of flowering shrubs around the place now, this is being compensated by the lush greenery. When I walked through the park this morning the cheerful twittering and flight of birds were plenty and the shouts of children followed every where they ran . I felt very happy today to have recorded the park 27 years ago in a painting as testimony of me being there. "I was here".
( Click here to see more of my paintings done many, many years ago)