Peranakan Culture “Alive” through Recent Exhibitions in the Asia Pacific Region
The Peranakan culture is very much “alive” and in the spotlight, alive in the minds of the individual creators, to culminate their respective shows, at this time- from the fashion industry in Indonesia, to an artist based in Syndey about his hometown in Penang, the exhibition of Emily of Emerald Hill at the Peranakan Museum to the display of Peranakan Lights in celebration of the Garden Festival’s 25th Anniversary in New Plymouth, New Zealand later this year.
Is there anything you as a reader would want to put on display or share as a Peranakan, about your heritage and culture? Now’s a time to do it. Send us your story, article, picture, with your contact details. We will post an article with your content in the month of August! It’s time for us to have a Peranakan Exhibition of our own.
Celebrating our Peranakan Culture
Inspired by the richness and uniqueness of the Peranakan culture, three designers who are also members of the Association of Indonesian Fashion Designers & Entrepreneurs (APPMI), Jeanny Ang, Deden Siswanto, and Rudy Chandra, held a fashion show themed “Beauty Treasure”, to celebrate the cultural blend that is unique to Peranakn – in this case specifically Indonesian and Chinese culture.
“The idea was created when we went to the Peranakan Museum in Singapore. We see that Indonesia has a large influence on the development of the Peranakan culture,” said Jeanny Ang, during a press conference “Beauty Treasure” at the Hotel Mulia Senayan, Jakarta, on Thursday 14th June 2012.
Their ideas, fuse Peranakan and modern styles of dress, whilst still interpreting Peranakan culture, from their own unique perspective.
“Not only that, we also have versions of their stories about the Peranakan culture, which is presented in a series of interrelated stories, and describe the stages of human life,” said Deden Siswanto. One common element, used by the three designers is embroidery to emphasize the characteristics Tionghoanya. Read more here: Three Chinese Peranakan style modifications by Designers Indonesia
Mapping a(Penang Peranakan)Identity
“The exhibition is not just about the past, it is about moving forward without forgetting the past.
KL-born artist David Cheah, who is now based in Sydney, Australia, has an exhibition held at the Penang Municipal Town Hall at the Esplanade, called ‘Mapping An Identity’ in a unique “map” of Penang. Instead of the usual contour lines, Cheah’s 40 artworks map Penang on batik- a groundbreaking way of “mapping”. The exhibition, which ends on July 15, is part of the George Town Festival. In his own words,
“In the tradition of story telling through textiles such as batik, designs and motifs are often reflective of the times, places, cultural influences and social status of communities.
“Back then, most motifs were Euro-centric and colonial. There were no Penang-specific motifs used in batik to enable one to connect and identify with the present,” he said.
“I see the connection between the past, present and future not only in a particular style or use of traditional objects at ceremonies, but also in living heritage which can evolve and reflect the signs of the times.
“The ability to adapt and evolve with the styles is what makes art “alive” and reflective of our culture and identity,”
Read More at: Mapping Penang on batik – Northern – New Straits Times
Something Peranakan To Do in Singapore: Emily of Emerald Hill- An exhitbition Peranakan Museum
Written by Stella Kon in 1982, Emily Of Emerald Hill, has played to audiences around the world. Searching for something to do? Come on down to the Peranakan Museum to view Singapore’s most famous Peranakan matriarch’s own exhibition.
Open till Feb 17, 2013, more details at Things To Do: July 6
Peranakan Lights to Illuminate Garden Festival’s 25th Anniversary
A collaboration between Singaporean artist Sarah Martin and Italian artist Paolo Maimone, the Peranakan Lights are inflated, illuminated shapes screen printed with designs of traditional Peranakan art taken from ceramics, embroidery, screen-printing and architecture.
The Peranakan Lights are a new representation of the Peranakan culture which has a heritage dating from the sixteenth century, says artist Sarah Martin.
“The Lights reflect elements of their design in architecture, in their traditional cloths, in their jewellery – and bring it all together to reflect the gentle beauty that is the Peranakan culture,” explains Sarah.
“It is simply amazing that the Peranakan Lights will come to Taranaki, a place that holds natural beauty and culture close to the heart. The Peranakan culture is a culture that is struggling to maintain its identity, its richness and its beauty in light of rapid modernisation. To have this culture spread its wings to new minds and hearts goes beyond the expectation of what it was created for.”
Celebrating its 25th year as a garden festival, the Powerco Taranaki Garden Spectacular will offer visitors the unique opportunity to visit 50 of New Zealand’s most stunning private and public gardens.
Located right around Taranaki, visitors will enjoy strolling through large park-like country gardens, geometric and intimate inner city potager gardens, sub-tropical and rainforest gardens.
As New Zealand’s Premier Spring Festival, visitors can experience an extensive events programme featuring TV gardening stars, Lynda Hallinan and Tony Murrell, a stunning fashion show, guided walks and a garden speaker series and much more.
The Peranakan Lights is this year’s unique Landscape Design Project supported with funding from the TSB Community Trust. The Lights will be installed in New Plymouth’s Pukekura Park in the area known as the Brooklands Lawn enabling anyone to come and enjoy what will be an impressive first for New Zealand, says Festival manager, Lisa Haskell.
“Each year, the Landscape Design Project aims to add a completely new dimension to the Festival,” says Lisa.
“Day or night, the Peranakan Lights will simply be a stunning visual experience for locals as well as the thousands of visitors who attend the Festival.” More at: Spectacular light display to open Taranaki Garden event
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