The Old Boat Man

Another familiar sights for those living at Kuching. He is the boat man whom tirelessly steered the small sampan that travel between the Sarawak river. In the olden days, they are as crucial as the common public transport such as buses or taxi that connects school children or working people to their destination. This is especially true for those who lived at river banks. Nowadays he is mostly a tourist attraction. It’s still quite an experience to ride on this low-lying sampan with your hand just inches aways from the river, a totally different perspective sitting in this small sampan and watched the busy scene of the city. This days all the sampan are equiped with small motor, if you notice carefully there is a string on the roof of the boat which connects to the rear motor. Just need to yank and the motor will stop or reduce speed or vise versa. The two paddle are for steering the boat toward the destination. Only RM1.00 for each ride. Like most of Kuching old trades, this is also a disappearing sights. Fewer and fewer offered such service and soon disappeared with the old man.

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13 Responses to “The Old Boat Man”

  1. This is a lovely portrait of a working man and a neat memoir of old Kuching, Francis. You live in a world filled with interesting sights and your record of them is so much more appealing because you have personalized it all in your own hand and watercolor. Amazing!

    • Thanks Leslie, your work is wonderful too. There are still lots of interesting old fashion work seen in this country eventhough we are living in 21 century. Hopefully some of this culture will stay on and learned by younger generation but eventually most of it will soon vanish.

  2. This painting is wonderful. I’m getting curious about the man, and I feel like talking to him. I love the different shades of blue, my favorite color! πŸ™‚

    • Thanks Camilla. I’m glad you like the old man. Well, we never really get to talk to him in person but i’m sure he’s a very nice man, as most of the people around here.

  3. I just love this painting.You do a great job,my friend!
    I wait next week now πŸ˜‰
    Thank you for share it with us again.

    Enjoy the moment and have a special day too! πŸ™‚

  4. Interesting perspective!

  5. I really like this painting, Francis. It gives me a complex feeling mix of liking the old man, nostalgia for olden days, and curiosity about what’s ahead of him. What’s ahead of us, him and me really, because you positioned me, the viewer, in the boat. I found myself forgetting that this is painting and starting to build a story. Good stuff!

    • Thanks Alex. I try to capture the mode of people sitting inside this small boat, just as you have put it. It’s nostalgic and soon it will became a bygone thing.

  6. absurdoldbird Says:

    Ah – I surfed in here a few days ago and meant to comment on this painting then, and forgot! It’s lovely having a view of something/someone from another’s point of view and perspective. Living in the Uk, I don’t see sights like this or have them to experience. Thank you so much for sharing it – both your art and words.

    • Thanks for your comment Val Erde, i’m glad to be able to share some of our local experience to the world, there are still so many things i wana paint and tell a story about. I just wish i have more time to spare. Thanks again for coming by.

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