Phoenix in flight, dancing dragons and peonies in full bloom; visitors to The Peranakan Gallery at Orchard Road will be enthralled by artful depictions of these colourful and iconic Peranakan symbols throughout a gallery space that focuses on tracing the 500-year-old story of the Straits Chinese population in Southeast Asia.
Beginning from the arrival of Chinese Admiral Cheng Ho’s fleet in the early 15th Century, the Peranakans embraced cultural practices and aesthetics from local Malays and occupying Europeans over 300 years to shape a hybrid culture rich in its own tapestry of traditions.
Discover The Peranakan Gallery at Orchard Road, Singapore
The Peranakan Gallery brings to life this remarkable heritage within a setting that is accessible and intriguing to visitors with all levels of understanding of the Straits Chinese culture.
At the entrance, guests are greeted by a typical Peranakan shophouse facade complete with an ornately-carved Pintu Pagar (fence door). It is a traditional privacy screen placed in front of the home’s main entrance.
Furthermore, there is a table set-up for a game of Cherki (a olden card game similar to gin rummy) beckons within. Meanwhile, another large section is dedicated to the art of embroidering and wearing the iconic Sarong Kebaya and Kasut Manek (beaded slippers) traditionally worn by Peranakan women.
Authentic Peranakan Flavour The Peranakan Gallery’s main exhibit centers around an elaborate 20-seater Tok Panjang table set. On the table, there are exquisitely-crafted Nyonya ceramics, Chinese porcelain and Waterford crystalware. This a nod to the Malay, Mandarin and European influences beloved by the Peranakans and assimilated into their aesthetic.
Tok Panjang is a grand spread of dishes laid out with great care upon a table, in celebration of special occasions such as weddings, anniversaries and hallmark birthdays.
Centering this table at the heart of The Peranakan Gallery spotlights the importance that Babas (men) and Nyonyas (women) place on their distinct culinary heritage.
Visitors will be heartened to know that this Tok Panjang table isn’t merely a museum display. The gallery’s adjoining restaurant, The Peranakan, is able to serve up an authentic Tok Panjang feast comprising over 12 signature items at the table.
Encircling this centerpiece are displays of items and furnishings typical to Straits Chinese homes of yesteryear. From black and white family portraits, treasured and antique Kam Cheng, there is even a collection of vintage tiffin carriers and even enamel chamber pots.
The gallery is a celebration of life
Baba Raymond Khoo, founder of The Peranakan Gallery and also executive chef of The Peranakan shares, “The Peranakan Gallery is a celebration of our Straits Chinese way of life, created to transport visitors to the golden age of Peranakan heritage through an experience that is visually captivating and highly-immersive. We hope the gallery inspires each visitor to discover more about our unique hybrid culture that embraces East and West, and to be an active advocate for all things Peranakan. Our efforts in encouraging people to participate in and promote Singapore’s Peranakan culture stems from a passion to preserve our ancestral heritage for generations to come.”
Sharing more on the Orchard district’s Peranakan history, Baba Raymond explains, “Orchard Road was home to one of Singapore’s original Peranakan enclaves in the 1800s. We hope this exciting project both celebrates the heritage of Orchard Road whilst transforming the typical mall visit with an enriching insight into Peranakan culture.”
The Peranakan Gallery is opened in collaboration with Claymore Connect, a mall by CDL Hospitality Trusts (CDLHT).
The Peranakan Gallery is open daily from 11am to 10pm and is conveniently located at Level 2 of Claymore Connect Mall, 442 Orchard Road Singapore 238879.
The admission fee of S$15nett per person is waived for all visitors who present a hotel key card or a receipt from any outlet located at Claymore Connect.