Sunday, April 25, 2010

Peranakan Museum

This heritage museum provides a comprehensive overview on the culture of early peranakans. Alternatively, you can visit Malacca. The museum is housed in a restored colonial townhouse, complete with ornate gates and sculptures. And 2 gift shops on the ground floor.

This visit was quite exuberant, with a full schedule of performances at the main entrance. Several stations for body painting, paper dolls and stamping utilizing traditional motifs. Check out my dragonfish above.

Beautifully made brass sculptures adorn the main entrance of the building. Not sure if this cat sculpture is in memory of a real cat that lived in this house or just Kucinta. The flowers strewn on it really makes you wonder.

What I really love about Peranakans are their material culture. Gorgeous brightly coloured porcelain, copious amounts of jewellery (gold gilt, ungraded diamonds) and intricate beadwork made with 1mm glass beads that resemble paintings.

Of course, if you are like me and have to own a piece of peranakan culture, head on down to the gift shops. I was a little surprised as well that you can buy a small green & pink ceramic pot similar to the exhibits for $150 or a gold necklace for $3000. More conventional offerings such as books and magnets are also available. I bought a limited print micro beaded stamp (below) and my sis got a cookbook.

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