book-banner-2400-v-6.png

Singapore Heritage Tile Project

An international story of beauty, heritage and life

At my great-grandfather’s clan house on Cantonment Road, Singapore.

At my great-grandfather’s clan house on Cantonment Road, Singapore.

support this project

pre-orders now available

Show your support for heritage by pre-ordering the book, purchasing a calendar or making a donation.

Learn about the project

As an Australian of Singaporean heritage, I began researching my family tree after moving to Singapore in 2012. My journey into my father’s past was marked by the strong presence of decorative tiles on shophouses, temples and commemorative spaces linked to my ancestors. With my background in architecture, fine art and languages, I have been fascinated by the cross-cultural ties and diverse designs behind these ceramic artefacts. Learn more in exclusive project updates

Uncovering my Peranakan great-grandparents grave at Bukit Brown Cemetery, Singapore.

Uncovering my Peranakan great-grandparents grave at Bukit Brown Cemetery, Singapore.


see beyond the shophouse

The beautiful patterned tiles seen on traditional shophouses in Singapore has deeply influenced my own artwork and art workshops over the years. However in early 2019, I started examining these ceramic surfaces in more depth after discovering new and unusual types. I was surprised to uncover an array of amazingly rich and ornate tiles far different from those commonly found on traditional shophouses.

Enjoy a patterned past

I’ll be sharing my findings in a full-colour book aimed at showcasing the social, cultural and historical value of these exquisite artefacts. A specially curated selection of over 200 export tiles will include transfer, relief and majolica types. Readers will delight in subject matter as diverse as dragons, farmyard animals, flowers and fairies in designs over a century old. Publication is set for late 2020. Get exclusive project updates!

get exclusive insights

Enjoy exclusive project updates with insights and discoveries about heritage tiles in Singapore and beyond. My weekly newsletters will bring you closer to my explorations without the sweat!


visit the project on Instagram

Visit the project on Facebook


join our tile tidy sessions

Hard-working volunteers giving up their time to help clean vintage tiles ahead of a photoshoot.

Hard-working volunteers giving up their time to help clean vintage tiles ahead of a photoshoot.

Join a Tile Tidy session and help support a unique heritage project. Volunteers from all walks of life have been assisting me in cleaning vintage tiles at Bukit Brown Cemetery. Your time and energy enables me to showcase some of the nation's finest decorative tiles.

As a thank-you, please allow me to present you with a complimentary copy of my book upon publication. Register your interest in new Tile Tidy sessions

Uncovering a century’s worth of dirt takes some determination, but well worth it.

Uncovering a century’s worth of dirt takes some determination, but well worth it.

Tile Tidy: New Dates!

Check out new dates here

Majolica tiles from a 1910 tomb on Lao Sua Cemetery

Majolica tiles from a 1910 tomb on Lao Sua Cemetery

Comments from recent project participants:

Bringing back these beautiful tiles to life is simply fantastic!
— Anne, UK
It was a very fascinating & rewarding experience for me. I was raised thinking cemeteries are eerie & scary. Then I chanced upon Bukit Brown with a friend during a hike and been very intrigued by this place, so rich in history & heritage. And cleaning the tiles with you all was really a very good experience.
— Clare, Singapore
It was a privilege and pleasure to be part of your tile tidy up-such unexpected hidden treasures emerging from the vegetation. Thank you.
— Helen
Even though I may not know the person and the stories behind the lovely tombstones and tiles,  I find it a real joy to be able to help out together with Jennifer. My heart is filled with gladness to see the tombstones and tiles tidied up ready to once again to meet and welcome the world.
— Nicole, Singapore
Creating a sanctuary and restoring dignity to ancestors whilst admiring the glorious artwork of the tiles and the wonder of nature .... a fantastic way to spend an early morning making friends. Thank you!
— Louisa, Australia
190531_group-02-1500.jpeg

blogs

A selection of blogs about my favourite things in Singapore, including articles about Peranakan culture. See my blog


Project locations: Bukit Brown cemetery

Learn more about Singapore’s history and heritage at Bukit Brown Cemetery - also a wonderful place for tile-spotting!

The Brownies: A volunteer community group hosting tours on a monthly basis when possible. See for details

Jane’s Tours: Singapore based and award-winning tour and travel company. See for details

Photo courtesy of Bianca Polak

Photo courtesy of Bianca Polak


get regular updates

Get exclusive updates about my exploration of Singapore’s decorative past.


Messages From project supporters

Hi Jennifer - good on you for embarking on this new project of yours. You are giving back to your family and to SG in such a beautiful and loving way.
— E.W
Thanks for your email, updating information on the Peranakan tiles. Interesting to know that you belong a well-known Peranakan family tree! Blessings be upon you, Jennifer, as you “unearth” more Peranakan culture and more history notes!
— Mary Elizabeth
Thank you for the information about the Peranakan People and tile history. I so enjoy learning something new every day.
— Georgia
Adding a touch a love to an unknown tomb at Bukit Brown Cemetery.

Adding a touch a love to an unknown tomb at Bukit Brown Cemetery.


Supported by Singapore 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. See my Pre-order Campaign

nhb-download.png