‘Crossing Cultures’ art exhibition by Jennifer Lim & Benjamin Seck opens Thursday 15 November, 2018 at True Blue Space, Singapore.Read More
ANZA members reinventing Peranakan culture! Wonderful to have a full house of creative ladies from the Australia & New Zealand Association at a recent Peranakan Printing Express Workshop. Great to see how people tackled the design challenges of this decorative display mat. I'm happy to see how well the new border tiles worked out in these prints. Many thanks to ANZA for organising this most enjoyable session!
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A great way to spend time with friends and create with culture! Learn more.
Peranakan textile collector Peter Lee
If you are into heritage textiles and based in Singapore, you might have heard about author and collector Peter Lee. His beautifully presented book Sarong Kebaya - Peranakan Fashion in An Interconnected World is a must for Peranakan culture and fabric fans alike. I was recently lucky enough to take a look at Peter’s studio, where he generously showed some star items from his amazing collection to members from the Textile Enthusiasts Group (TEG).
Since the 1990’s, Peter has collected various kinds textiles but mainly 'trade textiles such as Indian Patola cloth, Geringsing and Batik cloth. His collection slowly developed based on a shared love of batik with his late mother, Elizabeth Lee. Peter has since donated numerous pieces to various museums. Singapore, Sarong and Style was an exhibition organised by Peter last year to audiences in Japan.
hand drawn batik
I’ve been particularly interested in sarong since seeing some unusual ones by Indonesian Eurasian batik maker Eliza van Zuylen in a show at the Peranakan Museum several years ago. Peter showed us some examples of her work - and even let us touch them! I was also amazed to see a sarong with lots of tropical flowers amid cheerful flags of the United States of America.
contributing to singapore culture
Peter is one of several prominent Peranakan ‘ambassadors’ helping to enrich the cultural status of Singapore including Peter Wee of Katong Antique House, Raymond Wong of Kim Choo Kueh Chang and Peranakan chef Violet Oon. Textile lovers, and those keen on art and culture, can be thankful for his effort and dedication. We look forward to future exhibitions...not long to wait according to sources!
Peter Lee's Textile Collection
Friends of the Museums Singapore
The Textile Enthusiasts Group (TEG) is part of Friends of the Museums, a community organisation offering events and outings to those passionate about culture. TEG can connect you with other people who share an addiction to anything related to fabric, cloth, embroidery or dyeing! From the novice onlooker (me!) to the seasoned collector, you'll find a friendly and supportive community with a wealth of knowledge. For those interested in training to be a museum guide or docent on weekdays, FOM also conducts an intensive and rewarding volunteer programme.
Gorgeous Peranakan Inspired Artwork by Artist With Strong Ties To Japan
Active Women in Singapore series
Jennifer Lim is an Australian artist residing in Singapore with a surprisingly deep connection to Japan. In the fourth part of our series on Active Women in Singapore, I'd like to introduce Jennifer and delve into her interesting background.
Although she was born in Sydney, Jennifer’s father is Singaporean and her mother is Australian. As an artist, Jennifer’s work is rich with originality and creativity through her fusing of cultures and her experience of various countries and regions. Her long-time ties to Japan can be felt upon seeing her art and glancing at her resume. Jennifer is also a fluent speaker and reader of Japanese.
When Jennifer was six years old, she moved from Australia to Japan after her mother took up a year-long position as a visiting lecturer at the University of Tokyo. At that time, her mother’s love for art, and ukiyoe prints in particular, had a huge impact on Jennifer, which she says influenced her career choice immensely.
When she was in high school, she visited Japan again as an exchange student. She attended a public high school in Nagoya, where she wore a ‘sailor’ style uniform while clutching a dictionary in her hand. After returning to Australia, she was accepted into the Australian National University. In her third year of university, she joined a year-long exchange student program at Kyoto Seika University.
It was during this period that Jennifer became increasingly interested in Kyoto’s unique culture and frequently visited antique stores and flea markets. She began collecting kimono and now owns a sizeable collection. She sometimes even wears them when she goes out to events.
Even after becoming an adult, her ties with Japan continued to grow. Her first job brought her to Okinawa, which she chose because of its unique indigenous culture and historic connection to China. She began working for the international relations section at the Okinawa Prefectural Government. During this time, her interest further grew in Okinawa’s colorful and unique culture. She later moved to Tokyo and continued working as a translator and interpreter at a city bank and various embassies.
Amid her busy life, Jennifer was suddenly forced to deal with a near-death of a close family member. This experience became the reason for shift back to the world of art. She moved to Singapore and started to embark on her true passion.
Since having two children, Jennifer has managed her time so that she can share her love of art with others. She has taught at LASALLE College of the Arts and regularly hosts workshops at her studio and externally. She is active in the art world and participates in art festivals and art exhibitions.
I recently attended a workshop by Jennifer and learnt to print using the Japanese woodblock technique. I found her teaching style to be very open and relaxed. Many of her art workshops focus on Peranakan culture due to Jennifer's interest in her heritage. Her artwork is also unique and frequently contains references to her background. She uses linocut printing, and traditional Japanese woodblock printing as the result of her student days in Kyoto.
Looking for interesting experiences for your children? Book a printing session tailored made to your group! In this recent workshop, I had parents with children as young as five years enjoy a two-hour session of printing. It was a fun and satisfying morning for both parents and children as they produced some colourful works as part of a home schooling art activity. It's also a good way for kids to connect to Singapore's heritage since many of the rubber blocks we use in the workshop are inspired by Peranakan tile design.