A Tribute to Our Supporters and Friends (I)

 

Carrying on a Legacy – “Made of Silk" at Loke Mansion

 

Life is like a silk embroidery embroidered with unexpected threads. We don’t know what will happen tomorrow. Sometimes our life continues in the same way for years, the same routine repeating over and over. We think that is all about our life. But sometimes a seemingly insignificant event can alter the course of our life, opening a new chapter filled with excitement and adventure.

He has appeared and continues to appear as counsel in many complex and high profile business and corporate disputes. He was one of the counsels who appeared before the Constitutional Tribunal established in 1998 to inquire into the alleged judicial misconduct of five Malaysian Supreme Court Judges. He was also a member of the Companies Law Reform Committee of Malaysia.

Numerous independent legal publications have consistently listed him as a leading individual in dispute resolution and corporate/M&A. He has been ranked as a Market-Leading Lawyer by Asialaw Leading Lawyers in the 2017, 2016, 2015 and 2014 editions for dispute resolution and corporate/M&A. The Chambers Asia – Asia’s Leading Lawyers for Business 2009 edition described him as “a standout” and “a formidable advocate who presents incredible robust arguments”.

He is the author of Corporate Powers: Accountability published by LexisNexis which is now in its third edition (2018). He is also the co-author of the Hong Kong Company Law which is now in its second edition (2017).

Who is he? He is Dato' Loh Siew Cheang, the co-founder and managing partner of a renowned legal firm, Cheang & Ariff, in Kuala Lumpur, Maylaysia.

There seems to be no chance for us, Su Embroidery Studio, to get connected with a prominent figure in the legal world as we are in two totally different industries. But when the magic of life begins to work, everything seems possible and reasonable.

The unexpected connection began in January 2014 when Dato' Loh ordered several silk embroideries from us, Su Embroidery Studio. What started as a simple purchase for friends and clients soon blossomed into a deep appreciation for the exquisite craftsmanship of Chinese silk embroidery. Impressed by the quality and artistry of the silk embroideries created by Su Embroidery Studio, Dato' Loh continued to place repeat orders.

Then in late 2014, a new chapter of this story unfolded when Dato' Loh extended an invitation to Su Embroidery Studio to exhibit our silk embroideries in his office, Loke Mansion. He emailed us photos of Loke Mansion and the details on how he would organize the exhibition.

To enhance the coordination of the silk embroidery exhibition, our director, Mao Chunhua, traveled to Kuala Lumpur to meet Dato' Loh. Despite already being captivated by Loke Mansion's beauty through photos Dato' Loh sent earlier, Chunhua was still amazed by its elegant surroundings and historical significance. What made Chunhua feel shocked was that the beautiful Loke Mansion was deserted like a ghost house before 2006 when Dato’ Loh’s law firm made the restoration. Sitting in his office room and face to face with each other, Dato' Loh shared with Chunhua the history of Loke Mansion, the final residence of Loke Yew.

 

loke mansion in kuala lumpur

Loke Mansion before Restoration

 

loke mansion in kuala lumpur

Loke Mansion after Restoration

 

loke mansion before restoration

Loke Mansion before Restoration

 

loke mansion in kular lumpur after restoration

Loke Mansion after Restoration

 

the moon gate in loke mansion

The Moon Gate inside Loke Mansion before and after Restoration

Loke Yew's life journey began in China, but destiny led him to Singapore in the 1850s before making his indelible mark in Malaya's tin mining industry. In 1890, he acquired the property in Kuala Lumpur from fellow tin mining tycoon Cheow Ah Yook. Loke Yew embarked on a 12-year endeavor to redesign and complete his home, engaging craftsmen from both China and Europe. The resulting mansion was an architectural masterpiece, fusing Chinese and European styles with delicate Moorish influences. It boasted an airy courtyard, spacious halls, and ornate staircases, all adorned with exquisite local cengal wood, imported tiles, and timber. Notably, it was one of the first homes in Malaya to bask in the luxury of electricity. Loke Yew resided in this grandeur until his passing in 1917, while his family eventually moved out in 1930. Over the years, the mansion changed hands and purposes, even serving as the Japanese military headquarters during the tumultuous period of World War II. By the 1990s, this once-palatial residence lay abandoned and dilapidated.

In 2006, Dato’ Loh’s expanding legal practice required a new office space. Fate led him to Loke Mansion during one of his visits to his cardiologist's clinic nearby. After much contemplation, he made the bold decision to undertake the deserted Loke Mansion’s extensive restoration.

 

loke manison in kular lumpur

Loke Mansion after Restoration

 

garden in loke mansion

Loke Mansion after Restoration

 

With an investment of 2 million ringgit and months of meticulous research and painstaking restoration work, Loke Mansion was meticulously restored to its former grandeur.

When Dato' Loh completed his introduction about Loke Mansion, Chunhua realized that they were doing more than a Chinese silk embroidery exhibition. It was a collective endeavor to raise people's awareness about the importance of preserving historical architectures through an ancient Chinese art form, silk embroidery, which faces the threat of extinction too.

Under Dato' Loh's unwavering dedication and with the selfless help from his legal team, the exhibition “Made of Silk” achieved resounding success (see photos of the exhibitions at page Our Exhibitions). Throughout the 8-day event, Dato' Loh treated Chunhua and his team like old friends. His warm hospitality and boundless generosity will hold a special place for ever in our hearts.

 

opening ceremony of made of silk exhibition in kular lumpur

At the Opening Ceremony of the Exhibition “Made of Silk”, Mao Chunhua, Datuk Seri Liong Tiong Lai, Dato’ Loh Siew Cheang and Tan Ming-li (from left to right)

In our global pursuit of sharing the beauty of silk embroidery, Chunhua has encountered numerous kind-hearted individuals. But Dato' Loh is no doubt the person he feels the most grateful to and admires most as well. In the following years, Dato' Loh continued to give us tremendous help by promoting our silk embroidery art and his support still continues.

Chunhua often pondered why Dato' Loh extended such selfless assistance and backing to us. Until one day some words in Dato' Loh's email gave him the answer,

'Warren Buffet said which I thought is really wisdom - At this age in my life and no one thinks well of me, it doesn't matter how big is your bank account. Your life is a disaster.'

 

 

by Su Embroidery Studio (SES), Suzhou China

SES is dedicated to Chinese Silk Embroidery Art and High-End Custom Embroidery 

Find SES's embroidery work at Chinese Silk Embroidery for Sale