First-ever Couplets Calligraphy Event

By Chris Teh

In view of the upcoming Chinese New Year, Tin Alley organised a Couplets Calligraphy event which garnered participation from Ipohites of all ages on Sunday, January 19.

Calligraphic characters of auspicious Chinese idioms were inked onto around 40 pieces of 20ft-long red cloths, which were then hung in between shop lots along Lorong Bijeh Timah.

“This is the first time we organised an event like this,” said Leong Hing Wah, representative of the organising committee. “We hope to preserve and pass this Chinese tradition of calligraphy writing to the younger generation.”

Hard to miss is none other than renowned calligrapher Ong Chia Koon’s work of his chosen idiom “song xiang zhu xiang mei xiang, xiang feng zhen zhen; tian mei di mei ren mei, mei yi chong chong”, which is a depiction of the arrival of spring and people greeting each other with good wishes to signify a blessed new year ahead.

Being the only non-Chinese to be part of the event, Roz Hussin, 52, sketched the idiom “kai men ying chun, ren ren chun guang man mian”, which means opening the doors to welcome the spring and people feeling enlightened.

Having learned calligraphy writing since she was eight years old, Hussin, an architect by profession, stated that she was invited to be part of the event.

“Mr Tan Kai Lek is a dear friend and he asked me to join,” she said. “Being someone very interested in calligraphy writing, I couldn’t say no to him.”

Hussin has taught calligraphy in Chinese, Arabic and English for more than 20 years in the USA.

“Hopefully, through this event, the cultural gap between different races can be bridged and help make Ipoh be a more muhibbah (good-willed) place for all Malaysians,” she expressed.

Tin Alley will be having an event ‘Heritage Appreciation and Prosperity Reunion Dinner’ on January 31. For more information or updates, visit their Facebook at and Instagram at

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