Heritage on the walls of Kwai Chai Hong

Kwai Chai Hong literally means Little Demon Lane. While there is no official record on how the street got its name, it is said among the locals in the area that it was because the dark, narrow laneway in a discreet part of Kuala Lumpur’s Chinatown or Petaling Street used to be a favourite playground for children in the neighbourhood.

During those days, old Chinese settlers referred to mischievous children as “Kwai Chai” (little demons), hence the name, Kwai Chai Hong.

Nestled between Lorong Panggung and Jalan Petaling, Kwai Chai Hong today is no longer the dark unkempt alley it used to be. It is today one of the most Instagramable locations in downtown Kuala Lumpur following its transformation under Project Kwai Chai Hong which was completed in April, 2019.

Executed by space management company Bai Chuan Management Sdn Bhd with a grant from Think City, the renewal project involved the restoration of 10 shophouses in Kwai Chai Hong and six interactive nostalgic mural art on the buildings’ walls and facades, each depicting a colourful scene of what life used to be among the Chinese community here in the 1960s.

The colourful murals were painted by five local artists: Khek Shin Nam, Chan Kok Sing, Chok Fook Yong, Chew Weng Yeow and Wong Leck Min, with Chan noting in a recent article that their different painting styles and brushstrokes reflect the diversity of the Chinese community itself.

The launch of the revived Kwai Chai Hong was officiated by Bukit Bintang MP Fong Kui Lun at end- April. The place is perfect for a day out with family or friends.

Kwai Chai Hong is open from 9am to 6pm daily.

This story first appeared in the pullout on June 28, 2019. You can access back issues here.

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