Penang Street Art (A Game of Sparrows)

Art Mahjong

A steel rod sculpture depicting the favorite pastime of most older generation of the local Chinese communities here in Penang – the game of Mahjong. Mahjong literally means sparrow in Chinese, and is usually played with four persons. Legend has it that it was Confucious who invented the game, though this was pretty much debatable. A set of 144 Mah Jong tiles consists of 36 tiles in the Bamboo suit, 36 in the Circle suit, 36 in the Character suit, 16 Wind tiles, 12 Dragon tiles and 8 bonus tiles (4 Flowers and 4 Seasons). The objective of the game is to collect sets of tiles according to the number and type shown on the face of each tile. This sculpture can be found towards the end of Stewart Lane, behind the Goddess of Mercy temple.

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