The Remarkable People Series:
Naked Dialogue - CONSERVE TO SUBVERT
“Make it count!” – Laurence Loh
How often have you heard or used the phrase “Let him think that it’s his idea and you will win support for your cause”? This is a covert subversion.
When you march in the streets and occupy a public space, you are viewed as troublemakers trying to influence public perceptions through airtime. This is an overt subversion.
Let’s think of heritage conservation as a critical subversive activity. Which approach will you take, covert or overt?
Laurence Loh, renowned as the “Heritage Crusader” of Penang, Malaysia, has always been looking for covert ways to engage and save Penang’s heritage for future generations.
His milestone restoration project, the Blue Mansion, received the UNESCO’s Most Excellent Project in the Asia Pacific Heritage Award in 2000 and kick-started the path towards the World Heritage Listing of George Town. Riding on the awareness it has created, now conservation is a mainstream activity in Penang.
A new model of subversion can be found in an amorphous advocacy group called the Penang Forum, a loose coalition of individuals and organisations, and has a certain impact on political agendas. How does it work?
- Laurence Loh (Architect, Professor of Architecture and leading practitioner in Conservation | Malaysia)
- Benny Chia (Founder of Hong Kong Fringe Club | Hong Kong)