Donation: Support the Cause


Donation: Support the Cause

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Support our decorative past

If you love history and heritage, please support my efforts to showcase some of Singapore’s most beautiful antique tiles. My focus is on rare examples found at Bukit Brown Cemetery and surrounding commemorative areas, where some 200,000 tombs are facing the possibility of future development.

In 2012, I unexpectedly attended the exhumation of my great-grandfather at Bukit Brown Cemetery, and later discovered four tombs of my Peranakan and Chinese relatives. Upon subsequent visits, I noticed the presence of brightly coloured tiles, similar to ones I had admired at shophouses in Joo Chiat, Emerald Hill and Ang Siang Road. I was moved by their charming designs and patterns, and also intrigued by their international origins such as England, Belgium, France and Japan.

Over 100 volunteers have supported my efforts since April 2019 to uncover and clean some 200 vintage tiles from Bukit Brown Cemetery and surrounding commemorative sites. The task has been unrelenting amid jungle-like conditions, but necessary in order to give these ceramic gems the loving polish that they deserve. Many volunteers have found it a deeply moving experience to admire, clean and record the timeless beauty of many tiles over a century old.

I’m committed to self-publishing this book, and until now have financed my project through my art workshops and artwork collection.

Your direct donation goes towards these costs:

  • professional photography

  • printing

  • graphic design

  • professional editing

This project has received a Heritage Participation Grant from the Singapore National Heritage Board, which partially covers my costs. The remaining amount needed for the project is generated through sales of my artwork and art workshops. Your kind donation allows me to focus fully on successful delivery of this passion project.

All donors will be acknowledged via a personal email.

Buy the Heritage Tile Book

Buy the Heritage Tile Calendar

Supported by National Heritage Board

In pursuit of my passion project, I am constantly faced with funding challenges. I am grateful to have recently been awarded with a partial grant via the Singapore National Heritage Board. I am now striving to fund the remaining costs through pre-sales of my book and calendars, as well as through my art workshops and artworks. Your support will make a huge difference and allow me to fully focus on writing my book.

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Welcome to the Singapore Heritage Tile Project

My name is Jennifer Lim and I’m an Australian artist based in Singapore.

The Singapore Heritage Tile Project is inspired by decorative vintage tiles uncovered in my father’s homeland. My journey to trace my heritage has been marked by the strong presence of what many locals call ‘Peranakan tiles'. Since 2012, I’ve come across these ceramic gems so often that it has often felt like they are calling out to me! While I first simply admired them for their timeless beauty, I now also view them as a symbol of Singapore’s cross-cultural DNA and trade links between many countries.

My family tree research has led me to shophouses, clan houses and commemorative spaces of personal and collective importance.

Bukit Brown Cemetery is the focus of my project due to its rich and unusual collection of tiles reflecting Chinese customs, foreign influences and local trends. It’s also a place of rest for several of my family members including my great-great-grandfather from China and my Chinese Peranakan great-grandparents.

Since January 2019, the project has collected data on glorious examples from the Arts & Crafts Movement, and Art Nouveau and Art Deco periods. With the help of community volunteers, these ‘grand dames’ have been lovingly cleaned and restored to their former glory. Professional architectural photographer, Finbarr Fallon, has helped to capture their timeless charm.

These beauties of the past deserve further study and greater attention. It’s my hope that this project can contribute to international awareness of antique tiles and promote their protection.

Join me in helping to promote heritage!

Heritage Tile Tidy Session: Community volunteers in the tropical heat helping to clean up tiles and tombs

Heritage Tile Tidy Session: Community volunteers in the tropical heat helping to clean up tiles and tombs