Nowhere near…

It was in the news sometime ago that the municipal council here is embarking on a street art project beginning with one of a wharf labourer, a common sight around that part of town in the old days. After that, another one followed on the wall of a complex in town where our trioplex (a three-hall cineplex) is located – I am not too familiar with such characters but I think it was one of Iron Man.

More recently, more appeared, this time along the small lane leading from Market Road to Channel Road where the Sibu Central Market is. These include one  of the kampua noodles…

Kampua noodles

…and the kompia


…and also the dianpianngu


– things that are synonymous with this little town and representative of Sibu.

Of course, these are works of art, not photographs, so we cannot expect them to look anything like the real thing where the noodles are concerned…

Kampua noodles

…or what the kompia actually looks like in reality…


…but if that last one was not labelled, I would not be able to tell what it actually is…


…as all I could make out would be those bits of cuttlefish tentacles. Still, I would say that they are indeed very appropriate choices though I really wonder about the rest. Is the penyeram


…or what we call kuih lipeng supposed to represent the Malay community here? If I am not wrong, these are available all over the country and a much better choice would be the ederam

Kuih ederam

– the ones here have many holes while those in the peninsula that I have seen online have one only, like a doughnut. Likewise, I think the pulut panggang

Pulut panggang

…is available throughout the country, not just in Sarawak or Sibu…like how the kek lapis (layer cake) is quintessentially Kuching. I wonder if the kelupis would be a better choice…

Kelupis 1

…but then again, it is not that readily available around here and wikipedia says that though it is the traditional snack of the Malays in Sarawak and Sabah…

Kelupis 2

…it has its origins in Brunei. Or perhaps one might consider the Melanau delights such as the sagu’ (sago pellets) or tumpik or the terbaloi (coconut sago crackers) or kuih cina instead?

I guess the kuih jala

Kuih jala 1

…is representative of the Iban or ethnic community…

Kuih jala 2

…even though that comes across to me like instant noodles.

Unfortunately, when I was in that lane that morning, I thought it was kind of sad that everybody was walking past like the pictures were not there at all. For one thing, they do look like something you would find on the walls at some food court or hawker centre advertising the things that are available there. Perhaps they can make them a little more “interactive” so to speak, like the works of Ernest Zacharevic in Penang, Kuching or elsewhere. There can be one of people eating kampua noodles at a table in a coffee shop, for instance, with a chair jutting out from the wall and people would be able to sit on it and have their photographs taken, looking like they were one of the group…or for the one of the wharf labourer, they may have a sack protruding from the wall and people can pretend to be carrying it while somebody snaps their photographs. Still, whatever it is, I would agree that we should show some appreciation for the effort on the part of the authorities or the people concerned. Keep up the good work!

Author: suituapui

Ancient relic but very young at heart. Enjoys food and cooking...and travelling and being with friends.

15 thoughts on “Nowhere near…”

  1. You should start taking your picture with mouth open wide eating those delicious food, Arthur. Then many others will follow suit. At least then these artwork will be better appreciated 🙂

    A friend/ex-blogger did that and shared his photograph on Instagram. I guess that’s just about all one can do?

  2. The council is doing their best to promote local food and beautify the town. Kudos to them!!

    Don’t ask me about those kuih names. I am not familiar with them but I know them and tasted before. Haha. Oh. Kuih Jala is from Iban??? I like it but need to eat with bowl or some will drop and messy.

    You like kuih jala? Not my favourite. Shouldn’t be a problem getting that in your hubby’s hometown. Not sure if it is Iban or Melanau – but come Gawai, you will surely see it among some other things.

    Yes, sure glad that the council is trying to do what they can to give Sibu a nicer image.

  3. Wow, now Sibu also has lots of these artwork. Though the paintings are nowhere near to it, still have to appreciate the effort the Council has put in. Dianpianngu, one of my favourite Foochow dishes.

    How ironic! I am Foochow, Sibu born and bred and dianpainngu is not my favourite. 😀 😀 😀

    Yes, the council is doing a good job, trying their best – I’ve been to towns where the nice signs showing the names of the towns are so neglected – some of the letters have fallen off and nobody does anything about it. Sleeping, the people in charge there – gaji buta!

  4. I guess people would be more interested if the street art was done by a “famous” person…. that’s life.

    Not really. You ask Ernest Zacharevic to come, they would not know who the hell he is – just another ang moh (red hair) and they would complain till kingdom come over the money spent – why not get a local to do it bla…bla…bla… Haters will hate! They will never appreciate any effort the authorities put in to make the town a much better place.

  5. Agree with Merryn, you should take picture with those”foods” on the wall…

    Come, come!!! You come to Sibu and I’ll take your photos standing beside each of them.

  6. Kuih jala is different from roti jala? the one that goes with curries?

    Completely different! Can’t say I’m a fan though – I prefer roti jala – never mind if it’s nyonya or mamak/Indian style, love them both…with curry!

  7. I think the artwork are really good. People may not stop to look, but they still add to the ambiance of the place.

    Indeed, adds a little bit of colour to the otherwise dull and boring whitewashed wall. The locals may not bat an eyelid but visitors to the town would surely stop for a picture or two, just that we do not get so many.

  8. wow, i love the artwork of the food … really beautiful … very fluid style and lovely muted colours … kudos to the artist! am glad you took photos of the work 🙂

    Wish they had attracted more attention, after all that effort – only a couple of friends snapped some shots of them and shared on Facebook or Instagram. I guess it’s the same everywhere – like when I had a few taken beside Ernest Zacharevic’s works in Kuching, quite a few locals commented that they had not seen the real thing and some did not even know there were such things in their own city…and asked where they were.

  9. I guess there’s not enough effort to promote these street arts? They don’t look flamboyant or outstanding like Ernest’s work, they look just like what the locals are used to seeing, maybe that’s why they didn’t slow down and take notice.

    They were in the local papers plus there was an official launching. Gotta give them credit for trying – at least, they’re done by locals, not some foreigner. I wonder about the location though – in some backlane. Many locals do not pass that way even, much less visitors to the town. I saw some nice graffiti in Auckland…but no, it did not attract much attention from people passing by either and it wasn’t on a busy main road either. I guess those who do get to see it would have seen it every day or to them, it is just another painted wall…

  10. I generally like wall murals and especially so if the painting is well done. The ones you featured up there is not too bad.

    Yes, not bad at all, just not getting much attention, sadly.

  11. Wah, I want to go there!!

    Come, come! No plans to come back to Sibu? How long has it been? Bandong is going to have a totally new image, come Ramadhan this year!

All opinions expressed in my blog are solely my own, that is my prerogative - you may or may not agree, that is yours. To each his/her own. For food and other reviews, you may email me at

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