Thursday, 12 February 2009

The Peranakan Museum, Singapore

I was quite surprised to find a museum on the peranakans in Singapore. I thought peranakans are found only in Malacca! At home, we call them the baba-nyonya people who originated from a mixture of chinese, eurasians, indians and malay who lived in the region of and during the time of the Straits Settlements. To date, there are many peranakans living in Singapore. In fact, there's a room full of portrait pictures of them!

I am much impressed by how the old building has been done up looking brandishly new yet retaining its vintage feel. I love old things because they have a history, a story to tell.

The wedding headdress for the ladies reminded me immediately of the Berbedak wedding ceremony. It's interestingly quite similar!

Gilded Pagoda Trays used most likely for bearing important items during the Peranakan wedding like jewellery. How magnificient it is to find the most intricate of things in old items!

Bakul Siah are wedding baskets which are used for gift exchange. Now, doesn't this connect to a Malay wedding?

A fusion between modern art and vintage artefacts, the museum also provides electronic kiosks where one can view videos of the cultures of the Peranakans such as the different wedding ceremonies. This place is impressive! It doesn't just go down to the look and feel, it's the interaction too! I thoroughly enjoyed my visit.

They retained the old structure but pimped up the place with trendy, colourful artwork.

I can't help but want to show this pic of C with the big pork leg, which is a ceremonial item for the wedding.

Another similar-looking item to the Berbedak wedding ceremony of the Brunei Malay people

The living room of a Peranakan household.

Finely crafted motifs on their silverware

This is the nuptial bed, which I could not go further to admire its heavily crafted designs. It looked like it was something out of an olden Chinese martial art movie, hehehe.

Every utensil and furniture were all finely-designed. Their ceramicware were all finely painted too.

The Peranakans did not only show their appreciation for fine arts in day-to-day things, they also expressed them in writings and drawings.

Pardon me for the crooked photo. I was in the section on religion and this is actually a lacquer and gilt spirit house. I believe the museum is a little TOO interactive for they also showcased artefacts and videos of a Peranakan funeral which at the point this photo was taken, there was crying of a woman coming out of a speaker somewhere. 0_o

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