Pekong by Wayan Wangen, 2013. Wood sculpture from Suar Wood, original piece by artist Wayan Wangen.
About Tua Pekong
The subject carved by Wayan Wangen here is that of Tua Pekong. The word ‘Tua Pekong‘ means ‘Grand Uncle’. This stems from historical accounts that has become one of the pillars of Indonesian, Malay and Singaporean folk religions. Throughout Southeast Asia, Tua Pekong is referred as the “God of Prosperity”. Tua Pekong is thought to be a man named Zhang Li. A belief that he is the incarnation of the god “Fu” from the trio of “Fu Lu Shou” representing “Prosperity, Fortune and Longevity”.
This is a belief system that is founded on historical events. Tua Pekong was a man named Zhang Li from the Hakka Clan in China. He was on a journey, his boat was destined for Sumatra. However it was struck by wind and landed in Penang Malaysia. At the time there were only approximately 50 inhabitants. Zhang Li lived in this fishing village with two others who became his sworn brothers, Chiu Hsiao Ching, a charcoal maker, and Ma Fu Choon, a blacksmith. History records show that they were devoted and faithful to their sworn brother bond until the end of their lives. They are all buried behind the ‘Sea Pearl Island Tua Pekong Temple’.
About Wayan Wangen
Wayan Wangen is a master sculptor, member of the Gus Tilem exclusive Gallery for 25 years. Retired from wood carving, his collection are testament to the artists’ contribution to the golden days of traditional wood carving here in Bali.
A little about Suar Wood (Albizia/Samanea Saman),owing to its popularity all across the world, Suar Wood is known by different names in different parts of the world. Sometimes it is often referred to as Monkeypod, Samanea Saman, Parota and South American Walnut. In Thailand for instance it is referred to as Acacia. In Indonesia, people refer to it as Suar Wood.
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