The Culprit Behind George Town’s Steel Rod Sculptures

Tang Mun Kian

Affectionately known as “Uncle Tang” by his friends and colleagues, Tang Mun Kian certainly isn’t your typical middle-aged ‘uncle’ who shakes his leg and sits around at kopitiams (aka hawker centres). In fact, he might not even be middle-aged despite his nickname.

He is, though, a Malaysian artist, cartoonist and designer who is the Creative Director of Sculpture at Work, a Kuala Lumpur based art company. And yes, Uncle Tang is the culprit behind the steel rod sculptures (all 52 of them) you see on the streets of George Town, a UNESCO World Heritage site in Penang. He was commissioned by the Penang State Government to create them as part of a wider street art exhibition called ‘Marking George Town’.


Cannon Hole - Marking George Town, Penang

Cannon Hole - Marking George Town, Penang


So is Uncle Tang as representative as his steel caricatures? We bet he is!

After graduating from the Malaysian Institute of Art in Communication Design, he started his career as an Advertising Art Director in Singapore. Deciding to further pursue his strong passion for art, he quit his advertising job and moved bases from Singapore to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia - where he is based now.

Today, Uncle Tang is a busy man! In addition to drawing, painting and sculpting, he is delving into furniture making with Mad3 Studio, a furniture company he set up with two of his friends from his advertising days.

Mad3 Studio is all about forging a link between old and new: traditional craft and contemporary design. Their beautiful furniture brings us back to our childhood days where our grandmothers used to sit on similarly-designed rattan chairs.

Keep your eyes peeled for Mad3 Studio as they are coming to Starchie shop soon!

Also, do check out more of Mun Kian's art work here.


Creen Project - Tang Mun Kian

Creen Project - Tang Mun Kian

X-Armchair Rattan series - Mad3 Studio

X-Armchair Rattan series - Mad3 Studio


THE LOWDOWN on Uncle Tang ...


Where do you live          Kuala Lumpur

Unpretentious, honest, basic, raw                             Personal style

Android                                                                     Iphone or Android?

Sketching /art exchange around South East Asia    Travel


My workplace                    Kuala Lumpur & Penang

Office pet                          Guppies

Latest project                    Blacksmith stool

Fave designer / project     TYIN Tegnestue / Bath House

Good design                      Paper clip

paper clip

Stationery                          Fude nib fountain pen - Hero

In your work bag               Sketchbook


Local eat              Nasi lemak

Drink                    Hailam tea

Munchies             Nuts

In your fridge       Milk


Online shop         Book depository

Fashion                T-shirt and jean

Fave local shop   Nanyang Art Supplies, Kuala Lumpur

Pen and paper      I can’t live without

Monocle               Magazine subscription


UNCLE TANG recommends ...

SCULPTURE       Aboud Fares

SILKSCREEN     Raksasa Print

POTTERY           Bendang Studio