Sunday, January 24, 2010

Kedah Padi Museum

Kedah Padi Museum
Many seem unaware of the 24.7 mil Kedah Padi Museum located some 8km from Alor Setar, Kedah, which opened its door in the country's "rice bowl" state in October 2004.

It is the first padi museum in Malaysia, and the fourth to be opened in the world after Japan, Germany and the Philippines.
Featuring traditional tools, machines and even folklore related to padi, the museum, which is housed in seven triple-storey building, is cleverly designed to look like gemai padi (bundles of padi stalks).
The entire structure pays homage to the beauty and importance of padi to the country's economy.
And while the detailing of the embossed padi stalk motif on the buildings circumference is exquisite, it's the wall-to-wall mural in the main building that is the gem of this museum.
The masterpiece was the work of 60 North Korean artist.

The Rice Museum consists of two main levels and a top portion accessible by a spiral staircase. As you tour it, you are given a thorough explanation of anything involved with rice. There are several galleries with panoramic murals. These are the result of painstaking work by 60 artists from North Korea.

The North Koreans was paid RM11 mil and they spend six month (in 1998) taking photographs and studying the area. They also spend additional time researching padi planting and completed the mural in 2000.

My favourite gallery is 59 steps above, accessible via a spiral staircase. What you find here is a massive circular mural measuring 103 metres in circumference, and 8 metres in height. You enter this gallery from the middle, and immediately the scene of the surrounding Gunung Keriang region unfolds around you.

Get comfly in your chair and just soak in the view as the platform revolves for some 30 minutes; it's almost as if you are staring at Kedah's most scenic horizon.

As you stand there admiring the mural, you are taken in by the sheer size of the murals. Indeed you cannot be sure where the ground is, and where the mural begins. Another thing, as you view the mural, you feel that the scenery was moving. Soon you realised that you are standing on a revolving platform, and by simply being still, you will have the scenery rotate around you.

It was truly a mermerizing experience.

16th January 2010.
Alor Setar, Malaysia.

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