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Malaysian cartoonist Lat is something of a local hero at this point, as his art is widely loved. So much so that his childhood home in Batu Gajah has been converted into an art gallery, a project 7 years in the making.
According to Malay Mail, the art galley Rumah Lat will provide a glimpse into the acclaimed cartoonist’s life, complete with various carefully curated items and furniture from the childhood of Datuk Mohammad Nor Khalid, better known as Lat.
The exhibit includes pre-World War II items such as assorted furniture, a framed mirror, a rack for clothes, and a cupboard where Lat used to store his beloved vinyl records in his teenage years.
In an interview with The Star, Lat recalls locking the cupboard when he was not home to ensure the safety of his prized possessions.
These were among my prized possessions at that time. You save up for ages to buy records and my shirts were really very nice because I believed in looking dashing at that age.Lat to The Star
The project is backed by the Perak state government and will be open to the public by the end of the year. Lat notes that the project is very personal and close to his heart.
He recalls that it was a big treat to grow up in the kampung as a kid, even when there was no electricity or water.
I drew the house from memory for The Kampung Boy. When you are nine, you remember every single detail and I have very fond memories from those times.Lat to The Star
Lat started drawing The Kampung Boy, by far his most famous work, during his travels to the US when he realized that Malaysia was not well-known. The graphic novel was published in 1979 and is a heart-warming nod to the simple life in a typical Malaysian village.
The gallery at Rumah Lat will showcase the highlights of Lat’s career spanning four decades long, dating all the way back to 1964. Lat hopes that the project will last for years to come and continuously provide a sense of history and nostalgia for all generations.
I am very excited to show all of this to people. It will be a familiar sight to the older ones, but I think it will be something new and interesting to some of the younger generation. As much as I am enjoying putting this project together, at the end of the day it is not for me — it is for the future.Lat to The Star
Anne is an advocate of sustainable living and the circular economy, and has managed to mum-nag the team into using reusable containers to tapau food. She is also a proud parent of 4 cats and 1 rabbit.