Peranakan Window, "Heritage Collections" - Seah Street, Singapore
Artwork Size: 12" x 12" inches
Mixed Media by Arthur Ting
Chinese Words Seen on the Artwork:
Bai Fu Qian Xiang
"Hundred Luck and Thousand Happiness"
It is usually used by the Chinese in those days when they believed strongly in luck, prosperity and happiness.
The houses in Singapore have doors of many faces. Among such doors, none have received more attention of late than the Peranakan-style portals at places like Blair Road and Emerald Hill Road.
The Straits Chinese or Peranakan style, as it is commonly called, is a blend of Chinese, Malay, European and colonial elements which flourished from the late 19th century to World War II.
Rich in detail and built with care, the style has humble beginnings. It first appeared in simple shophouses where tradesmen toiled and were only later adopted in the elaborate terrace homes of wealthy merchant families.
The Peranakan, or more accurately, Baba Chinese of Malacca are a distinct and unique racial group whose origins go back to 17th-century Dutch-ruled Malacca. Male Chinese who emigrated from the homeland took local wives. From them, a distinct society evolved; a people who considered themselves Chinese yet spoke no Chinese language. Instead, they spoke a Malay partois containing words and phrases mainly from Hokkien. Their customs and clothing are a blend of Chinese and Malay, and their homes are a mixture of European styles of architecture with Chinese and Malay touches.
The Chinese characters inscribed on the door mean living together in peace and harmony.
SIGNIFICANCE OF PERANAKAN MINI-WINDOWS
This painting is meticulously done on the canvas. A window is a wonderful thing. Just as one’s eyes access the soul, the window penetrates life and allows us to appreciate it in all its fullness.
The significance of the open doors and windows is to show the abundance of opportunities and goodwill that may come along one’s path. This open concept also shows the endowment of many blessings to the family and loved ones at home.
The flash of abstraction within the house indicates light and movement. This means that the dwelling place is full of life and vibrancy.
The painting is a masterpiece that is not only painted but also well-carved and chiselled. Each part is carefully hand done. The handiwork is very fine.
This is a memorable collection of our old conserved building which is uniquely Singapore.