” No other material can compare with rattan. Rattan is the most versatile material. It can be bent or straightened without breaking” – Sim Buck Teik
Mr Sim’s family came from Guangdong Province, China. Guangdong Province is a centre for traditional handicrafts in China, and is renowned for their high quality embroidery, carving, pottery, weaving, lacquer ware, paper cutting etc. The village where Mr Sim’s family originated was involved in bamboo weaving.
Mr Sim’s grandfather and father came to Penang in the early 1900s, They earned their living by working in a rattan weaving shop in Penang Road. Penang Road was then the hub for rattan weaving in the early days of Penang. Soon, Mr Sim’s grandfather saved enough capital to open his own shop in that area with the business name ‘祥興’ (Xiang Xing).
Mr Sim was born locally in 1929 but went back to China at the age of 7 for schooling. He remained in China until 1948 when he finally reunited with his father in Penang at the age of 20. In the same year, the business expanded and the family opened another branch ‘祥興隆‘ (xiang xing long) in the current premise on Beach Street. It was here that Mr Sim learned the craft of rattan weaving. He eventually inherited the business from his uncle and today, the shop is run by his son, the fourth generation of the Sim family.
Mr Sim’s passion and dedication in rattan weaving for the past six decades was recognised by the Penang Heritage Trust in 2008, when he received the Penang Heritage Trust Living Heritage Treasure Award.
Mr Sim Buck Teik’s shop:393 Beach Street, 10200 George Town