Thanks for supporting my passion project! I'm really excited to be helping uncover a special chapter of Singapore’s decorative past in an exploration of beauty, heritage and life. Over the last seven years, I've been privileged to connect to culture in this fascinating country. I'll be sharing my findings through a full-colour book to be released later in the year.
Let me tell you a little more about myself, and how this idea for a book came about. My move to Singapore in 2012 was prompted by the birth of my first child, and a growing personal desire to learn more about my father's heritage. Shortly after settling in, my uncle called me and asked me to help him deal with some 'family matters'. I had no idea that I was to attend the exhumation of my great grandfather and his brother.
Amid what looked like a tropical jungle, I was shocked to witness the bones of my ancestors dug up. This unforgettable event triggered the start of a more serious effort to trace my father's heritage. I came to learn more about this overgrown location, otherwise known as Bukit Brown Cemetery. Volunteers, otherwise known as the ‘Brownies’, led me to the further family graves, including my Peranakan great grandparents and my Hokkien great-great-grandfather.
My research then took on a more urban flavour, with trips to clan houses, family properties in downtown and distant suburbs, and various temples. Along my travels, I began to notice the presence of beautiful decorative ceramic tiles. It was if they were following me, or trying to tell me something.
At my Hokkien great grandfather's clan house, I was amazed to see a massive number of floor and wall tiles covering the entire two floors. I remembered the tiles I'd seen on the outside of my great grandfather's shophouse on Club Street, and started to feel that the tiles were a symbol of my connection to Singapore, and a bridge to my father's culture.
I look forward to sharing the timeless beauty and hidden stories of these stunning artefacts for current and future generations.
Get regular updates on my book project with exclusive live events and insights into Singapore’s decorative past