In April 2015, my mother and I were fortunate enough to be taken to Bukit Brown Cemetery to find my family graves. My visit was made possible due to Mr. Yik Han, an active member of the 'Brownies' volunteer guide group. He kindly researched and took me to several sites. Several people on the Heritage Singapore Bukit Brown Facebook group were also very supportive of my family tree research.
It was a very hot morning but the cemetery was very beautiful with lots of old trees. The first grave I saw was that of my Peranakan great-grandmother Ong Leon Neo and great-grandfather Tan Teck Yam (1874-1936). I also saw the grave of my Hokkien great-great grandfather Lim Hong Eok (born 1855 in China and died 1934 in Singapore).
I was really pleased and amazed to see Peranakan tiles on my great-grandmother's grave. It was the first time for me to see her picture too! Now if only I could find out where her family home was in Kembangan.
I've pestered Singapore Land Authority once but need to visit again with more details. I suspect the property is now under the Uenos Flyover near Lengkong Dua. My father told me it was on a hill and surrounded by a large plantation. Apparently, there were over a hundred steps up to the large Peranakan style 'mansion' - I presume that means a kind of colonial style house.
Here are some other photos I took from our sweaty expedition! A lot of the information on tiles came from a new book called 'Peranakan Tiles Singapore' by Anne Pinto-Rodrigues and Victor Lim.
Solo Show @ Ludo Gallery
This visit to Bukit Brown really helped with themes that I am exploring in my upcoming show in Singapore. Do come and see the show - I'd love to chat with you about how I'm looking at my intercultural experience and notions of 'home' in my work.
Balik Rumah - Let's Head Home, debut solo show by Australian-Peranakan Artist Jennifer Lim
Show runs from 23 October - 15 November.
Opening night: 6pm, 23 October @ Ludo Gallery #02-05 Waterloo Centre, Singapore 180261
Please rsvp if you can to info (at) jenniferlimdesign.com.
Artist Talk & Japanese Woodblock Demonstration
Please join me to hear more about the show and see how a Japanese woodblock print is created!
Saturday 24 October: Free but please register your interest by reserving a ticket here.
Make sure you join a tour of the cemetery - it's a fantastic experience that will open your eyes to another side of Singapore! See details of upcoming tours on All Things Bukit Brown website.