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2006 Award of Merit

Han Jiang Ancestral Temple

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Jury Citation

Built in the mid-nineteenth century, the Han Jiang Ancestral Hall has been restored to its former glory through a commendable effort by the Teochew community of Penang. A fine example of a Teochew-style Chinese temple, the building had suffered through heavy use as a school and a series of unsympathetic additions and renovations over the years. Meticulous research, both in Malaysia and China, was carried out to uncover the building’s history and architecture in order to inform the restoration process. Master craftsmen from China were brought in to ensure that the level of workmanship matched the original standards, both in terms of materials as well as techniques. A sophisticated lighting scheme employing fibre optics now showcases the splendid decorative details of the building. By revitalizing cultural and educational programmes, the project has succeeded in reviving the temple’s religious and social functions, allowing it to serve once again as the heart of the community.