Art Talk

The Baboon House - Frozen Moments, Timeless Stories

The pace of life in Malacca is rather slow and unhurried but the close-knitted community portrays undoubted strength and vigor in their different faces of character. The culture which is shaped by locals, Portuguese and Dutch descendants have made the more-than-centuries town overflowing with many untold stories.
Indeed, the distinctive way of life has been rooted in the society whereby it is solemnly embraced and shared amongst each other. Tour around Malacca town and you’ll find a funeral parlor beside a cozy-looking café, a ‘rojak’ stall next to a wood carving workshop and the trishaw or ‘beca’ men are able to converse in perfect English.
As the younger generation is shifting their focus into arts, the remarkable history of Malacca is now given a fresh breath of life all over again. Old and new co-exist; the elderly people pass the timely stories to the young and inexperience ones, while the latter group has to be willing to understand before learning the measures to restore and preserve the old heritage.

The Great Ultimatum of 'The Baboon House'
It’s a place which has a life of its own.
More than three years ago, Roger Soong had invented the project called ‘Baboon Garden’. As Roger laid his first step into the 250-300 years’ house, the entire place was in a poor, unmanageable condition. Despite being vacant and abandoned, Roger felt a sudden gush of emotions which ran quickly across his spine.
He exclaimed, “This place is frozen in time. When I saw this house for the first time, I know it is very special”.
Having to discover the awkward wiring and water piping, run-down courtyard, and the Chinese poems in every corner, Roger was determined that the house had remained untouched for an extensive period of time. Tracking back the tunnels of time, the house was evidently resided by generations before the existence of Peranakan ethic. The blue, dilapidated walls had shown vivid signs of British constituency as the whole town was painted blue as the finishing part.
Roger and his team had scraped down the walls of the house to reveal every story behind it. The few layers of paint had actually exposed the genuine tale of Malacca with a combination of different eras.
First-time visitors would be mesmerized by the theory of ‘scrapping more than painting’ as the man behind this project intends to transport the audience to use their imaginations as they journeyed back to the past.
Born and raised in Malacca, Roger reiterates that he is playing his role with the noble intention to inspire the younger generation to create more preservation projects. Being an art enthusiast, Roger utilizes an artistic concept in the makings of the grand project.
In The Baboon House, everything is constructed and designed using recyclable items. Going ‘au natural’, the wild plants which decorate the beautiful garden were all donated or collected by Roger from the jungle. Don’t be surprised to find homey pets licking your feet while you are sipping hot tea under the sheltered hut as the adopted darlings always roam freely around the open space.
If you share Roger’s passion, hop into The Baboon House as you will find yourself venturing into the awe-inspiring past. Bear in mind to stick around for the mouth-watering homemade beef burger (yes!), as it is also a western café operated by Roger and his acquaintances. The best of both worlds is in The Baboon House as you could feed your soul by indulging in the exploration of art and history, while satisfying your stomach to its great content.
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are solely the current opinions of the author and should not be construed to reflect the opinions, policies or positions of any entity other than the author's.