Some of you know that following my PASSAGE article on the Peranakan tiles of Singapore, I’ve collaborated with one of Singapore’s leading tile collectors, to bring out the first ever book on this topic.
As a tile enthusiast, it was an absolute delight to work on this project! After months of hard work (and a long wait at the printers), the book is finally here!
This beautiful 200 page book explores the different types of tiles that came to Singapore in the late-19th / early-20th century, and showcases some of the exquisite tiles that can be seen in the heritage precincts of Katong, Chinatown, Emerald Hill and Little India. Many century old buildings and shophouses in these conserved areas are decorated with English, Belgian or Japanese tiles. Interestingly, several tombs in the Bukit Brown Cemetery are also decorated with these tiles. The book also aims to create awareness about this fragile legacy that needs to be conserved for the generations to come.
In the early part of the 20th century, decorative tiles known as maiolica or majolica tiles across the world, found favour with the affluent Peranakan community of Singapore. The Peranakans decorated their houses, furniture and other surfaces with these colourful tiles. Soon enough, these tiles became a distinctive feature of this community and they began to be referred to locally as ‘Peranakan tiles’.
Based on availability, preferences shifted from English and Belgian tiles at the turn of the century to Japanese relief moulded tiles post-World War I. Japanese tiles were specifically made for Chinese-origin customers and had designs of fruits, flowers, birds and animals, considered auspicious as per Chinese symbolism.
The book is available at the Peranakan Museum, Chillax Market (Bukit Timah) as well as Katong Antique House and Kim Choo in the East. So if you live in Singapore or are visiting any time soon, don’t forget to pick up a copy 🙂
You could also order the book online.
For delivery within Singapore, go to http://list.qoo10.sg/item/BOOK-ON-PERANAKAN-TILES-IN-SINGAPORE/435757670
For international shipping, go to http://list.qoo10.com/item/BOOK-ON-PERANAKAN-TILES-IN-SINGAPORE/436126048
Thanks for your support! Hope you enjoy the book!