The Peranakan Museum - A Look at the Diverse Peranakan Culture and Communities through 9 Galleries



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The Peranakan Museum will feature brand-new permanent galleries as well as a fresh new exhibition design and museum visitor experience.

Venue: 39 Armenian St, Singapore 179941
Opening Hours: 10 am - 7 pm (daily), 10 am - 9 pm (Fri)
Admission: Free for Singaporeans and PR / from $8 (Foreign Residents / Visitors)

The Peranakan Museum in Singapore reopens its doors to the public in mid-February 2023 featuring a refurbished building boasting brand new permanent galleries, featuring exceptional objects from Peranakan material culture, as well as a fresh new exhibition design and visitor experience.

Visitors will encounter intricate objects, interviews, stories, and contemporary expressions in the museum’s nine galleries spanning three floors.

The Diversity of the Peranakan Culture and Communities

Visitors will have the opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of the diverse Peranakan cultures of Singapore and Southeast Asia through new thematic showcases, objects, interactive displays, and programs.

With a focus on inclusivity, the museum has closely collaborated with various Peranakan communities over the past four years to explore lesser-known aspects of Peranakan culture, and to contemplate the question ‚Äėwhat is Peranakan?‚Äô. Interviews, stories, and contemporary expressions will showcase living cultures such as that of the Arab Peranakans, Chinese Peranakans, Chitty Melakans (or Peranakan Indians), and Jawi Peranakans, while anchoring these cultures within the context of the larger Malay-Indonesian world.

Displaying over 800 objects, ranging from newly acquired or generously donated objects to well-loved artefacts and set pieces, the museum explores the Peranakan identity through universal themes of ‚ÄúOrigins‚ÄĚ, ‚ÄúHome‚ÄĚ, and ‚ÄúStyle‚ÄĚ.¬†

Origins

In the new Origins gallery on level one, visitors will be introduced to the diverse origins and evolution of Peranakan communities. From hand-coloured photographs to photo walls, visitors will encounter portraits of past and present-day Peranakans, contributed by various Peranakan communities, of the diversity and richness of Peranakan cultural heritage. This gallery also features video interviews where respondents share their thoughts and reflections on what Peranakan means to them.  

Home

The interior of a home reveals the lives of its inhabitants. Galleries on the second floor present objects related to family and community life, revealing a range of Peranakan customs, foods, languages and beliefs. Newly combining what was previously three galleries to be the single largest gallery in the revamped museum, the galleries reunite furniture, portraits and furnishings that once shared the same home, in a new method of display that focuses on historical houses and architecture, many of which have since been demolished and are survived by the objects on view. 

Style

Wholly dedicated to 'Style', the third floor galleries present dedicated galleries to Peranakan fashion and decorative textiles, two strengths of the museum collection. 

Inaugural galleries are dedicated to the making of batik as objects of fashion and furnishing, and showcases how Peranakan needlework celebrates craftsmanship and design in the decorative arts.

A new dedicated jewellery gallery presents a glistening array of over 180 pieces of jewellery across various stages of life and occasions, tracing its chronological development and evolution in response to changing dress fashions and hybrid influences. Jewelled heirlooms on display include a Chitty Melakan addigai necklace, an Arab Peranakan hairpin, and a set of adornments from one of the oldest Chinese Peranakan families in Sulawesi, Indonesia.  

Contemporary Expressions

In recognition of the relevance of Peranakan culture and identity today, the museum presents two commissioned artworks from contemporary artists Sam Lo and Lavender Chang. 

Sam Lo at the media preview of the museum, Photo Credits: Karen Liew 

In the museum's central airwell, Sam Lo’s art installation Coming Home is inspired by the tension between tradition and modernity in Peranakan culture, and is a body of work based on the artist’s search for their cultural identity. Retracing steps through research and creation, the work serves as a homecoming to welcome and celebrate the lives of generations of Peranakans, both near and far, in an effort to evoke feelings of pride and unity in the community. On level two, Sheltered Dreams by Lavender Chang features portraits of living rooms in HDB homes, capturing the passage of time and everyday life at the heart of the home.

Ticketing and Opening Hours

Admission is free for Singaporeans and PRs with fees applicable for foreign residents and visitors

  • Singaporeans and PRs: Free
  • Foreign Residents / Visiors
    • Adults: $12
    • Concession (student and seniors): $8
    • Families of 5: $36
    • Below 6 years old: Free

The museum is open daily

  • 10 am - 7 pm (Daily)
  • 10 am - 9 pm (Fri)

How To Get There

The Peranakan Museum is located at 39 Armenian Street, Singapore 179941. The nearest MRT stations are City Hall or Bras Basah or Bencoolen MRT stations.

Bus stops nearby include 

  • Capitol Bldg (04111) - Bus 7, 14, 14e, 16, 16M, 36, 77, 106, 111, 131,162, 162M, 167, 175, 652, 656, 660, 663, 665, 850E, 857, 951E
  • SMU (04121) - Bus 7, 14, 14e, 16, 16M, 36, 77, 106, 111, 124, 131, 147, 162, 162M, 166, 167, 174, 174e, 175, 190, 652, 656, 660, 663, 665, 850E, 857, 951E
  • Armenian Ch (04142) - Bus 2, 12, 12e, 32, 33, 51, 61, 63, 80, 197, 640E
  • Stamford Ct (04143) - Bus 124, 147, 166, 174, 174e, 190, 640
  • Aft CHIJMES (04159) - Bus 2, 12, 12e, 33, 147, 190
  • City Hall Stn Exit B (04167) - Bus 61, 124, 145, 166, 174, 174e, 197
  • Aft City Hall Stn Exit B (04168) - Bus 32, 51, 63, 80, 195, 851, 851e, 961, 961M

Parking is available in the vicinity of the Peranakan Museum with alternative parking spaces nearby, such as NTUC Income Centre, Funan, Excelsior, and Peninsula Plaza.

 

Photo Credits: Peranakan Museum unless otherwise stated

 



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This article is prepared by

Jiarong Yu
Daddy to 2 adorable little ones. Misses them the moment they are not around, regrets missing them the moment they are around.

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