Monday, October 17, 2011

In Memory of Che Wan

A teacher of unconventional talents. The Godfather of Niat-Laku-Hasil and without it, The Architecture School of HBP would be lifeless and barren. Without boundaries, his provocateurs drove his students breaking boundaries, all the way to the Dean's office. Almost a maverick and well lived his golden days of Hippies, John Lennon's music and baby boom, his selfless dedication to live on with Bamboos and Mushrooms, not forgetting teaching architecture in a Neo-Bauhaus traditions of Bucky-Balls, Confrontations of the COLUMNS, Mask-ed!, Play and all sorts of Jingles that can only be the brainchild of a reluctant genius.

Early encounter of him would be puzzled for he is draped in the defunct Al-Aqam's Jubah smoking his beloved Gudang Garam with his Teh Tarik in a lecture hall which proudly displayed the Non-Smoking sign. Who cares, as he lectured and criticized the inconsistency of translating Architecture from English to Bahasa-Whatever...  and 2/3 of the Lecture Hall dose off to sleep. Yup, that is HIM!

Before long, he stood before me as the Studio Master with another maverick, Encik Haidar, as his assistant, in his most up-kept beard and GUCCI to ARMANI from head to toe, the Gelugor way of course.  Local-U paycheck would not entitle you to dress liked Karl Lagerfeld. The entire year was a Blessing in-disguise. Instead of drawings liked all Architecture school does, we toyed with Fire. Almost got the Studio burnt down while shouting Nodus dan Laluan. Just a leap away from being Obsolesces, we did what others view as Anti-Establisment. That is way before, Namewee made his debut with his Negaraku-Ku, the Architectural Prodigee would have already transformed donated Tees, Boxers and all the discarded fabrics into the Malaysian Flag and hung it in the Foyer for Merdeka Celebration, although we already knew that we had never been Colonized.

There would not be another CheWan in HBP, for sure. Although we had all grownup out of his MOLD, somehow there is always a fraction of him that lived within us. 

A fond memory of him as a teacher and a companion of our architectural upbringing.  

May he rest in peace.


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