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Extraordinary Lives Seen At Our Museum


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Singapore Art Museum

Miraculous moments brought back to life

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KUMARI NAHAPPAN b. 1953, Klang, Malaysia Lives and works in Singapore

Anahata 2013 Saga seeds, sound

Comprising more than 4,000 kg of saga seeds collected from across Southeast Asia. Anahata is site-specific installation located in the heart of the Singapore Art Museum.

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Singapore Art Museum

The inspiration for Between Worlds came from Nasirun’s observation of the influence of television today and the hold that it has on its viewers. Television, for the artist, is essential a glass box filled with light, across which myriad characters play out their roles in a never-ending drama. In a similar vein, Nasirun has created his own cast of fictional charcters – wayang puppets – which he has placed inside glass bottles and beakers, lit from below, to mimic the effect of television.

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ADRIAN HO b. 1967, Borneo, Malaysia Lives and works in Malaysia Fruits of Life Full Production 2013 Oil on canvas

Ho plays witness to the spiritual fragments of Bornean landscapes by creating images of their vacillating relationship with urban and economic developments on canvas. In recent years, he has seen the grim reality of massive deforestation due to the expansion of oil palm planations. An observer and painter of the deep recesses of various Sabahan jungles, he often makes quick sketches, drawings, photos and notes of his finding. The two scenarios here are reconstructions of landscapes that he has observed. Placed directly facing each other, the paintings sandwich viewers and confront them with a choice. Ho puts it up to the public to choose the reality they prefer and reflect on the price they are wiling to pay for it.

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Singapore Art Museum

LESLIE DE CHAVEZ B. 1978, Manila, the Philippines Lives and works in Lucban and Tayabas, the Philippines Detritus 2012 - 2013 Oil on canvas

Set against the toxic environs of a Manila landfill, Detritus unflods like a drama equally surreal and real, with vignettes depicting corruption, consumerism, spiritual decay, environmental degradation, poverty and excess. Growing up in the 1980s – after Martial Law and the surge of socialist realist art – the artist is cognisant of the problems that have recurred despite the dismantling of the old authoritarian regime. The Tagalog phrase in pink neon at the far left reads, “It is said: God is enough”. It lays bare the conflicting sentiments of resignation, exasperation and hope felt by ordinary people caught up in Life’s theatre and its greatest tragedy: that despite changes in the actors and props, it is a play destined to be restaged time and again.

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I am often afraid of my parents dying. I can see that they are getting older.

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Singapore Art Museum

It shows on their flesh. I wish to find some strength through photography to help me deal with this.

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Singapore Art Museum

MY EYEBALLS ATE THE WIND MY FEET ATE GRASS THE TIPS OF THE HAIRS ON MY SKIN ATE ELECTRICITY THE BACK OF MY EARS ATE THE SKY MY TONGUE ATE THE STARS LAST NIGHT WHILE MY INDEX FINGER ATE BLOOD MY CHIN ATE THE CEILING MY PEN ATE THE FLOOR MY BRAIN ATE PAPER MY CLOTHES FED MY NOSE WITH DUST AND MY BACK DEVOURED THE UMBRA ON THE MATTRESS IN FULL WHERE MY FLANK HAD FAILED THEN MY SPINE ATE THE SPRING

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CHRIS CHONG CHAN FUI b. 1982, Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia Lives and works in Malaysia BOTANIC 2013 Digital prints on paper

Botanical illustrations aid in the idenification of specimens, to scientifically chart their distinguishing chaacteristics and possible discover and locate newfound species within the cosmos of living things. Chong borrows this as a symbolic means for tracing the material world. Working with professionals from the Technological Science institute (Institut SainsTeknologi) in Malaysia, Chong has made detailed, cartograpic illustrationsof various ‘species’ of artificial flwers available today. At first glance, these precise and scaled drawings appear not dissimilar to those found in the study of an expert botanist; howevr, upon closer inspection, one discovers irregularities in the details. The illustrations are records of comtemporary and eryday tastes and aesthetics, and also the societal acceptance of the artficial in place of the natural.

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Singapore Art Museum

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BOTANIC 2013 Digital prints on paper

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Singapore Art Museum

BOTANIC 2013 Digital prints on paper

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MARISA DARASAVATH b.1972, Vientiane, Laos Lives and works in Laos Untitled 2013 Oil on canvas

Darasavath’s practice for the past decade, centres on her fascination with the femaile gender and form. In this series of works, she accords the female form an unwavering focus that is otherwise absent in patriarchal Lao society. The female presence is clearly depicted as a central source of life, as seen by its extravagant displays of celebration and joy during harvest. The vibrant use of colour, fluidity and movement which further illuminates the artists world of fantasy and dreams.

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Singapore Art Museum

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Singapore Art Museum

TAN WEI KHENG b.1970, Marudi, Malaysia Lives and Works in Malaysia Voices of Hope 2013 Oil on canvas

Tan expresses the modern-day perils faced by tribal communities in Sarawak, Malaysia. Fast-paced deforestation is razing the natural landscape and endangering the lives and culturs of its native inhabitants. This mordernity is represented twice by the Petronas Twin Towers in Kuala Lumpur: in the top-centre of the composition, the towers are upright, emblazoned on the back of a man walking away from the viewer towards a pua (pattern) symbolising trees on a flattened land; at the bottom-centre, the towers are imprinted as repeated patterns, face down, on the feet of a female tribe member. At the centre of the composition is Along Sega, a recently decreased Penan tribal leader, promopting the question of who will lead the tribe, admist the nation’s exconomic quest.

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Singapore Art Museum

“You can expect to find an interactive, living centre for the arts, presenting a diversity of contemporary art genres – from painting, sculpture, installation, film and video, photography, new media, to performance and sound art. SAM’s permanent collection is displayed on a rotational basis, accompanied by frequent changing exhibitions that present the best of recent art from museums, galleries and private collections in the region. Hence, you will get encounter the unusual experience in your life!

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Singapore Philatelic Museum Stamps depicts a ever-going growth of a young nation

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Philately is... The word Philately is derived from Greek words philos (“love”) and ateleia (“paid or “tax-free”). It was first used in 1864 by georges Herpin, an avid collector of stamps. tamps are symbols that postage or tax has been paid. They are the icons of a society- its culture, its people, its history and its development.

A philatelist collects philatelic items, arrange them and learns about history, how it is made and the imformation portrayed on the stamps.

To study a stamp is learn about the richness of the world behind the stamp. Philately is a Window to the world.

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Singapore Philatelic Museum

2007 Floral and Fauna Definitives (High and Low value)

Definitive stamps are printed to meet normal postage demand and are available in a full range of postage values. A new issue is released every 3 to 5 years.

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2007 40th Year of ASEAN

Commemorative Stamps are printed to celebrate special national and international events and achievements.

2008 Peranakan Museum Collection

Special Stamps depict interesting themes such as flora, fauna, culture, history and architecture.

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Singapore Philatelic Museum

2008 Cash Crops of Early Singapore

2007 Nature Series: Shores and Reefs

2008 Fruits Singapore-Vietnam Joint Issue

First Day Covers are specially designed envelopes released with each new issue of stamps. The stamp is cancelled by a special postmark with the date of issue. Production information is included in the envelope.

2008 Local Delights Singapore-Macao, China Joint Issue

Miniature Sheets feature acomplete set of stamps with addtional artwork or information printed on the border surrounding the stamps.

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1990 Architecture Heritage Series – Windows Geylang Road

Postcards are small cards with a picture on one side and space for a written message on the other. It can be printed with or without a stamp imprint.

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Singapore Philatelic Museum

1997 30th Anniversary of ASEAN Culture

Maxicards or maximum cards are picture postcards with the same theme as the stamps and postmark.

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Fascinating Stamps Postage stamps with their colourful images and stories have fascinated millions of people since they first appeared more than 160 years ago.

The world’s most valuable stamp, Sweden’s 1855 three-skilling was sold for 2.5 million Swiss francs (U.S. $1.35 million) on 8th November 1996. The stamp was meant to be green, but was printed yellow by mistake. The most famous of the rare stamps is the one-cent black on magenta of British Guiana issued in 1856. Many have attempted to forge this stamp!

As with other collectibles, thousands of forgeries have been produced over the years, either to deceive the stamp collector or to defraud the government or postal administration. Postal forgeries are commonly referred to as counterfeit stamps.

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Singapore Philatelic Museum

Queen Victoria

King George V

King Edward VII

King George VI

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Singapore Philatelic Museum

Postage or snapshot of life?

Art or Design?

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Stamps come in a multitude of colours, subjects and topics, as unique as the country from which they originated. Can this be strictly considered art or simply design?

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Singapore Philatelic Museum

Are stamps simply pieces of paper printed to meet postal demand? Or do stamps reflect the spirit of the times in which they were issued?

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Records Bhutan, an Asian nation in the Himalayan Mountains, issued a group of postage stamps that were actually phonograph records.

These “talking stamps�, issued in 1973, had native folk songs recorded on one side and could be played on a record player.

1973 Record Stamps: 10nu Bhutanese History, 25nu Royal Bhutan Anthem, and 1.25 nu Bhutanese History in English.

3nu Bhutanese HistoryBhutanese 7nu Folk Song No.1, 8nu Folk Song No.2, and 9nu History in English, folk sons Nos, 1& 2

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Singapore Philatelic Museum

Wood Veneer Djibouti, an East African nation, issued a souvenir sheetprinted on wood veneer in 1987.

The wooden stamp, was entitled “Luke contre la lepre” or “The Fight Against Leprosy” to promote the antileprosy campaign.

1987 Lutte contre la lepre

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Felt SingPost issued stamps printed on felt to commemorate the 100-year anniversary of the Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA).

2004 100Years of FIFA

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Singapore Philatelic Museum

Crystals The Austrian company Swarovski is famous for its crystals and crystal products throughout the world.

Now these beautiful Swarovski crystals have been applied to a commemorative stamp as part of a collaboration with the Austrian Post.

2004 Swarovski Kristallwelten

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Lenticular The world first ‘Action Replay’ stamps from New Zealand! The effect of movement is created through a process called Lenticular where two or more images are printed together, or ‘inter-iaced’, into each other. Due to the optics in the special lens material of the stamps, your eye is forced to see only a very small area at certain angles. So, when you tilt the stamp, the images in the stamp appear to move.

2004 Olymic Game – Athens 2004

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Singapore Philatelic Museum

Scented The stamps were printed using a varnish mix which exudes the aromatic scent.

1998 Flowers The Colours of Nature

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Gold Foil In 1980, Mauritius issued a stamp to commemorate the 80th birthday of the former Prime Minister, Seewoosagur Ramgootan. This stamp was printed by lithography on gold foil with embossed images.

1980 Prime Minister Seewoosagur Ramgoolan 80th Birthday

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Singapore Philatelic Museum

Glow in the Dark “Night Creatures� issued by SingPost in 2003 had fluorescent ink applied on the eyes of the animals as well as the twinkling stars featured on the stamps. These featured simulate the effect of the glistening eyes of the night creatures.

2003 Night Creatures Wildlife of the Dark

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Are stamps great ambassadors provoking memories of places one has visited or just marketing tools for holiday destinations?

Ambassadors or Marketing?

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Singapore Philatelic Museum

Stamps are like windows displays. Within the perforated edges, we present and represent our culture, history, values, beliefs, achievements and aspirations. Through stamps we catch a glimpse into the psyche and worldview of different countries and in the process develop an understanding of ourselves and how we view the world.

–Mr Koh Seow Chuan RDP, FRPSL

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State of Singapore Achieving self-government was more than just a milestone in Singapore’s history. It was a significant landmark for our philatelic history as well. For the first time, the words “State of Singapore” were printed on stamps issued in 1960.

1960 National Day State Flag

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Singapore Philatelic Museum

The Merger By 1963, a merger with Malaysia was realised so as to enable Singapore to achieve political independence and to ensure econmic survival.

The Postal Services Department became part of a Federal Department under the Malaysian Minister of Works. Posts and telecommunications.

1963 Malaysia

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Singapore Lion Head Introduced in 1986 as an alternative national symbol, the Lion Head is depicted on all stamps starting from the ‘20 Years of National Service’ issue in 1987. The lion is used as the name Singapore was derived from “Singa Pura” which means “Lion City”. The five partings on the Lion’s mane, represents the five ideals – democracy, peace, progress, justice and equally – as embodied in the five stars of the National Flag.

1987 20 Years of National Service Miniature Sheet

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Singapore Philatelic Museum

First Self-Adhesive Stamps The introduction of self-adhesive stamps in 1994 was he delight of users because they are more hygience and convenient to use.

Self-adhesive stamps were first issued in tropical countries such as Sierra Leone where traditional wateractivated stamps tend to stick together in the humid conditions. Collectors dislike these stamps as they were difficult to remove from covers, and to save as mint.

1994 Corals & Reef Life Definitives

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First Greeting Stamps Greeting stamps was first issued in 1996, to convey joyous messages of love and caring on special occasions.

1994 Greeting Stamps (Celebrations) Booklet

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Singapore Philatelic Museum

Slogan Messages Slogan Messages were added to the cancellation to disseminate information, create awareness of certain issues, and to reinforce messages in various national campaigns.

1984 Cover Featuring slogan message: “Come on Singapore/ Let’s All Do A Little Bit More” & Teamy the Productivity Bee.

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Today, slogan messages are also used by corporations as a form of advertisement.

2000 Cover Featuring slogan message: “The Singapore Women’s weekly”

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Singapore Philatelic Museum

Stamps – A Living History Postage stamps continue to faithfully record state achievements, commemorate important events and document significant milestones.

Over time, stamps have fourished undergoing many changes in terms of shape, size, content, colour and even purpose.

Now in their own little way, they carry cultural, economic and political message between countries they travel, depicting the history, the successes, the hopes and aspirations, and the unique traditions of their country of orgin. Stamps are a living history and continue to be as relevant today as the day when they were first issued.

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Peranakan Museum They lived rich in culture and have an extensive history behind them

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“ ernakans are rich in culture and have an extensive history behnd them. As you can see from the picture on the right, these people are clad in traditional clothing. This shows how the ‘‘Nyonya Baba’’ respect their traditional culture and ancestors greatly.

If you want to discover an unknown history, you don’t have to come much further to finding documented relics of the Peranakan decent. Javanese crowns, Balineses jewels, Tamil, Hokkien and Malay wardrobe - all representing the pride of a race of original Singaporeans. An awesome history of the country and next door serve yourself some genuine Peranakan fare at their restaurant. Awesome - and something that every visitor should want to discover.”

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Peranakan Museum

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Peranakan Museum

Beadwork Tablecloth Penang Early 20th century Glass Beads, Cotton

Over a million glass beads make up this tablecloth, the largest example of Peranakan beadwork known. It was probably used on a round table because of the circular arrangement of motifs in the centre. The highly original design shows various European and South American birds and flowers, with only a few Asian species. Parrots and macaws stand on branches with butterflies and dragonflies hovering nearby. The tropical hibiscus and pineapple can be seen along with the many European flowers.

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The Perankan Wedding

During the weddings of the late 19th to early20th century, weddings in the Peranakan Chinese communities of Singapore , Malacca and Penang strongly adhered to traditional Chinese practices. The displays in these galleries show different stagesof the wedding rites as well as items used in the full twelve-day Peranakan wedding. Less well-off families would make do with a simpler celebration.

For Peranakan, a wedding marks the coming together of two families. Peranakan families value the family name. Thus, a wedding also carries the wish for sons to carry on the family name of the bridegroom. For the Peranakan, a wedding marks the coming together of two famiies. Peranakan families value the family name. Thus, a wedding also carries he wish for sons to carry on the family name of the bridegroom.

Weddings were a time to observe traditions. Important wedding rites had to be carried out on auspicious days and at specific times in accordance to the pek ji of the bride and bridegroom. Pek ji is the eight Chinese characters denoting one’s birth date and time. At such rites, pantangs or taboos were carefully obseved. Deities, ancestors and elders had to be invited to witness and legitimise the wedding rituals.

The lucky colours of red, pink, orang, yellow and gold were used in nearly all wedding items. These items were decorated with special motifs to ensure a good marriage. The Peranakan, like the Chinese, believed that ‘good things always came in pairs’ so many items in the wedding came in pairs. A bride often used her wedding to display her skill in embroidery, beadwork and other home crafts. Her handlwork gained her the respect of the woman in her husband’s family and all who witnessed the wedding.

Marriages were usually match-made. While parents and elders made the final decision, the potential bride and groom were often also consulted in the process. Wedding gifts presented by both famillies to the newly weds ranged from the practical (for example clothes), to the symbolic (for instance food which represents abundance). The wealthier families gave luxuy items such as jewellery and even houses.

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Peranakan Museum

Betrothal letters

(Surat Kawen) China Fujian Province, Xiamen, 1930

These two red paper documents were produced for the marriage in 1930 of Pang Choon Jin (1908–1971) and Chew Teck Neo (1921–2001). Written by the family patriarch and addressed to his counterpart, these letters praised the good qualities of the child and explained why they were well-matched.

The groom was the grandson of an eminent translator of Chinese classics into Baba Malay, Pang Teck Joon (1845–1928); while the bride was the granddaughter of the prominent businessman Chew Boon Lay (1852–1933).

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Wedding Jewellery Jewellery was prominent at Peranakan weddings, and even the bridegroom wore rings and brooches. However, it was bride who literally shone at weddings, decked out in her beautiful and ornate jewellery.

Jewellery styles differed regionally. In penang, the bride’s elaborate headdress was a single piece of silvergilt decorated with kingfisher feathers. In Singapore and Malacca, brides’s headdresses were elaborate crown-like arrangements of hairpins on a special chignon or hair bun.

Auspicious motifs like Eight Immortals, fish, sea creatures, butterflies insects, birds and flowers were used on headdresses or wedding hairpins. The bride often wore a band of silk or velvet on her forehead with attachments of silvergilt or gold figure of Eight Immortals and the God of longevity seated on a crane. Christian Peranakan families replaced Chinese deities with a band of silergilt or gold floral motifs. In addition, two dangling attachments with auspicious motifs were inserted beneath this band. Sometimes the bride wore a special long hairpin with dragonand pheonix, called the thau tok. This was the symbol of the Empress Dowager of China and part of the local tradition of raja sehari, where the bridegroom and bride were king and queen on their wedding day.

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Peranakan Museum

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Thia Besar Before 1950s, most Peranakan families lived as an extended famiy under one roof. In the trditional layout of a Peranakan house, the first room after passing through the front was the thia besar or ‘big hall’, the formal living room. The thia besar often housed the altar of the guardian deity of the house which was placed against the wall facing the front door. In some homes, the ancestral altar was also placed in this room, usually to the right of the deity altar.

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Peranakan Museum

The thia besar was used to received important guests, and for special occasions like weddings or furnerals. Children, especially young girls were usually not allowed into this room when male guests were present. Omate screens or curtains would be used to divide this hall from the more private sections of the house.

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The Peranakan Chinese have always regarded items made of silver as status symbols. Only the wealthier Peranakan families used silver and silvergilt objects, while more affordable objects made of brass, beadwork and porcelain were used by others. The silver objects themselves also came in a range of quality with regard to the purity of the silver and the craftsmanship of the work, probably to suit the demands of Peranakans of different exconomic status.

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Peranakan Museum

Tea Set Straits_Settlements, late 19th - early 20th century Mark of Da Xing and Wen Ying

This wedding tea set was bought from a Peranakan family in Penang. It is made of silver with a gold wash, and has auspicious motifs of dragons, birds, butterflies, flowers of the four seasons and the ruyi scepter (the word ruyi means ‘all you wish for’). Tea sets like these were specially ordered by wealthy Peranakan families for use in wedding rites. It is unusual to find one in silver; most are in nonyaware porcelain. As pairs were considered auspicious, there are two of every item including the teapot.

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Beadwork and Embroidery The Peranakan loved to use beadwork and embroidery as decoration on clothes andaccessories, functional as well as decorative items for home, and hangings used during various special occasions. Most surviving examples of Peranakan beadwork and embroidery date from the late 19th to early 20th centuries. This was a period when some members of the Peranakan Chinese communties in Singapore, Malacca and Penang were wealthy enough to have such items made to order for their own use. Less well- off familities had to rent wedding garments and funny hangings when these were needed.

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Peranakan Museum

Normally a beadwork panel was used as a decorative piece during special occasions like the wedding. It was made in Penang and consists of facetted glass beads that have been stitched onto a cotton base. Such facetted beads were imported from Europe, and were used to create motifs birds, animals and flowers that the Peranakan Chinese recognised as fertility symbols.

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Wedding Furniture

Newlyweds were commonly presented with

wedding gifts. Objects given to the bride, her trousseau, or jia zhuang in Chinese, were a way of distributing some family wealth to daughters within a society where family assets and heirlooms were usually inherited by sons. The trousseau would include an assortment of items such as jewellery, porcelain dinner services, embroideries, and kitchenware, as well as furniture for the new household. The size of the trousseau varied across income levels.

Wedding furniture would typically sideboards, cupboards, mirrors, washstands, chairs, or tables made from the types of wood favoured by Peranakan: blackwood, namwood, and teakwood.

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Peranakan Museum

The display presents furniture that could have been found in a wealthy Peranakan household in the Straits Settlements from the late 19th throuh the mid-20 century. The pieces would have been either ordered from China or made locally, but the styles were inspired by European furniture from different periods with some dating back to the 18th century. The Peranakan places are more recent than their original foreign models, save for the Art Deco chairs and side table, which follow what was then the contemporary style.

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Peranakan Museum

Washbasin China, late 19th or early 20th century Porcelain Bequest or Tony Wee and Collin Holland

A washstand stood in the wedding chamber of a house typically holding a colourful porcelain washbasin and a linen towel. This one is carved with foral and cloud motifs, and the shelf for the washbasin has the auspicious swastika motif. The interior of the basin is decorated with phoenixes and peonies, symbols for prosperity.

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Red and gold wardrobe Singapore, late 19th or early 20th century Painted and gilded namwood, glass

This red and gold wardrobe is composed of two cabinets stacked on top of each other, with the lion-dog legs on both tiers. The door panels are animated by gilded cravings of warriors on horseback, boatmen, and courtly scenes. The shelfs supports inside the cabinet are also decorated with gilded carvings. Red and gold are considered auspicious colours, symbolising prosperity, good fortune, and happiness. Such cupboards were normally commissioned in pairs, one for the bride and the second for the groom. The pair was placed in the wedding chamber for the use of the newlyweds.

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Peranakan Museum

Sideboard Malacca, early 20th centuury Blackwod,glass, and marble

This large sideboard was commissioned by the former Justice of the peace of Malacca, Tan Eng Chye, for his home on a hill in his rubber plantation in Malaysia Sideboards were used to display fine porcelains or other prized possessions. The Tan family placed porcelain figures of Hock, Lock, and Siew, Daoist deities of good forune, prosperity, and longevity, on the sideboard, making it then an altar.

The sideboard is decorated with a combination of European motifs. The panels of the lower section bear relief carvings of floral motifs based on Renaissance models, while the crown and side columms display more exuberant, three-dimensional carvings in the style of the Baroque period. Chinese deities on the columns add to the eciectic mix that is a hallark of Peranakan furniture.

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Wedding wardrobe Penang, early 20th century Teakwood and glass

This wardrobe is called a Leng Hong Tu, Hokkien dialect for ‘dragon phoenix cupboard’. The phoenix and dragon represent the yin and yang of a blissful marriage. Probably made by Chinese craftsmen, the surface is embellished to simulate buried wood - a style popular in Penang in the early 20th century. The ornate carvings at the top include a coat of arms with a lion and what seems to be a unicorn, modelled on the British royal arms. Wardrobes like this were often commissioned in pairs, one for the bride and one for the groom.

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Peranakan Museum

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Clothes hanger Malacca or Singapore, early 20th century Teakwood and glass

The open work crown of this clothes hangover is decorated with a pair of pheonixes in flight surrounding a central peony; a dragon adoms each end of the top crossbar. Hats and coats could be hung on the hooks while sarongs were hung on the central bar. The small cupboard below was used to store shoes.

Wardrobe Singapore, early 20th century Gilded teakwood

This intricately carved teakwood wardrobe is decorated with many auspicious Chinese motifs, such as the peonies atop the corner columns, a pair of phoenixes, and a qilin, carrying the Taoist goddess Si Wang Mu, on the crown. Pairs of butterflies surround the oval panel nd mirror. Peranakan believe that good things come in pairs and so many gifts and decorative motifs for weddings were paired. Wardrobes were used to store personal belongings including clothes, slippers, and personal accessories.

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Peranakan Museum

Dressing table with oval mirror Singpore, early 20th century Gilded teakwood and glass

This ornated carved and lacquered dressing table formed part of a set of wedding furniture. Floral motifs surrounded the rare, bevel-edged, oval mirror. It is believed to come from a Peranakan family home in Emerald Hill Road, Singapore. Things like perfume, creams, and brushes would be stored on the table, along with porcelain dolls, usually children at leisure, and were regarded as auspicious blessings for the wedding couple to have many children.

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Wedding Procession

The wedding procession took place on the third day of the twelve day Peranakan wedding. On the day the bride and bridegroom would first pay their respects to the deities, ancestors and elders of the bride’s family. Then they would proceed in a grand procession to pay their respects to the bridegroom’s family. The bride and bridegroom would walk a symbolic distance from the bride’s house before taking a keo or a car to the bridegroom’s house. The keo or wooden sedan chair carried by hired help gave way to the use of cars by the early 20th century. A short distance from the bridegroom’s house, the procession would form up again to complete the journey on foot.

The bridal couple was usually accompanied by hired help from the Boyanese (Baweanese) community hearing lanterns with the surnames of both houses on them, sprigs of freshly cut bamboo from whichan auspicious red cloth was hung and a pair of embroidered umbrellas to shelter the bride and bridegroom. Wealthier families sometimes employed guards to clear the road for the procession and to safeguard the bejeweled wedding couple and their guests. Adding to the procession were relatives and friends. There was a preference for couples, preferably ones with many sons to accompany the procession.

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Peranakan Museum

Wedding couples in Singapore and Malacca were usually flanked by a page boy and page girl as seen here, while wedding couple from Penang would usually have a pair of page boys and page girls. They were also regional differences in style of wedding garments, jewellery and headdress used by the bridal couple.

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Peranakan Museum

“Peranakan stands for the wonderful mixture of people that through the ages moved to South East Asia from India and China (Hokkien in particular), via Penang, Malacca and Indonesia where each time the culture got enriched by local cuisine, habits and beliefs. This new museum, set in a beautiful building from the beginning of the 20th century that once housed the first Chinese school to switch from dialect to Mandarin, is meticulously restored and guides you through the daily life of the Peranakan, from wedding and burial ceremony to kitchen ware. A must to visit if you want to understand Singapore. Also very well done for children with objects they can touch and stamps they can emboss themselves. I must confess I felt like an enchanted child myself!�

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Citations

www.google.com.sg http://www.tripadvisor.com.sg/Attraction_Review-g294265d310899-Reviews-Singapore_Art_Museum-Singapore.html http://www.yelp.com.sg/biz/peranakan-museum-singapore http://www.singaporeartmuseum.sg/ http://www.peranakanmuseum.org.sg/home/home.html http://www.spm.org.sg/SPMPortal/

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