Life of a tree sur­geon

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - Culture - By TER­ENCE TOH star2@thes­tar.com.my

IF you’ve ever sat un­der a shady tree on a hot day, or ad­mired the beauty of a park, there’s a very good chance you have an ar­borist to thank. Ar­borists or “tree sur­geons”, are peo­ple trained in the art and sci­ence of plant­ing, car­ing for and main­tain­ing trees.

The con­tri­bu­tions of ar­borists are of­ten not recog­nised by the pub­lic. An ex­hi­bi­tion in Ge­orge Town in Pe­nang aims to change that.

Hasim: Ar­borist And Art Ex­hi­bi­tion, a show at Hin Bus De­pot, in­vites the pub­lic to ex­plore the world of tree spe­cial­ists.

“Ar­borists play an im­por­tant role of con­serv­ing our her­itage, and restor­ing the green­ery of our en­vi­ron­ment. At the same time, they en­hance our sur­round­ings through tree con­ser­va­tion and trans­plant­ing,” says Vin Chee, who helped or­gan­ise this show.

The ex­hi­bi­tion, he adds, is held in the me­mory of Hasim Is­mail, a pas­sion­ate ar­borist, who died this year.

Hasim planted two rain trees in Hin Bus De­pot, where the ex­hi­bi­tion is tak­ing place. The trees are two of 17 that were trans­planted around Pe­nang af­ter be­ing threat­ened by a road ex­pan­sion project on the is­land.

The ex­hi­bi­tion, or­gan­ised by Pe­nang’s Moon­shop Gallery, aims to cre­ate aware­ness about the role and re­spon­si­bil­i­ties of an ar­borist through botanic in­stal­la­tions, dis­cus­sions and events.

Th­ese in­stal­la­tions, says Chee, in­cludes a gi­ant ter­rar­ium, fea­tur­ing live but­ter­flies, a “liv­ing” wall and an Alice In Won­der­land-themed table.

There will also be talks on top­ics such as ar­bori­cul­ture and tree top­ping, and a ses­sion by Sammy Au, a reg­is­tered con­sult­ing ar­borist from Hong Kong. Vis­i­tors can also look out for sev­eral tree-themed work­shops, in­clud­ing a “For­est In A Bot­tle” work­shop and a Moon For­est work­shop on Nov 4, and tree climb­ing work­shops on Oct 29 and Nov 5.

Hasim: Ar­borist And Art Ex­hi­bi­tion is on at the Hin Bus De­pot, Jalan Gur­d­wara, Ge­orge Town in Pe­nang till Nov 5. Open­ing times: noon to 8pm, Mon­day to Fri­day, and 11am-8pm on Satur­day and Sun­day. For more info, visit www. hin­bus­de­pot.com.

Tan’s Artist’s Menu: Turmeric Rice pa­per, 2012).

Lee’s Khabar An­gin OOI/ The Star

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