After nearly four years of renovations, the Peranakan Museum will reopen its doors to the public in mid-February 2023.
The completely refurbished building will feature brand-new permanent galleries presenting exceptional objects from Peranakan material culture, as well as a fresh new exhibition design and museum visitor experience.
Visitors will be able to gain greater insight into the diverse Peranakan cultures of Singapore and Southeast Asia through new thematic showcases, objects, interactive displays, and programmes.
The museum has worked closely with various Peranakan communities over the last four years to explore lesser-known aspects of Peranakan culture, and to contemplate the question ‘what is Peranakan?’.
Interviews, stories, and contemporary expressions will showcase living cultures — such as that of the Arab Peranakans, Chinese Peranakans, Chitty Melakans (or Peranakan Indians), and Jawi Peranakans — while anchoring these cultures, with their distinctive customs and practices, within the context of the larger Malay-Indonesian world.
Visitors will experience nine galleries across three floors. The galleries examine three grand themes pertaining to facets of Peranakan identity, namely “Origins”, “Home”, and “Style”. Besides familiar and well-loved artefacts and set-pieces, the museum will also premiere an extensive range of new objects acquired or generously given to us in the course of the last decade.
ORIGINS: The first-floor galleries explore the origins of Peranakan identity. They root Peranakan culture in the Malay-Indonesian world, trace how this hybrid identity emerged, and encourage visitors to ask the question: “What is Peranakan?”
HOME: The second-floor galleries explore the concept of home, and are designed to evoke a warm and familiar living space. Objects on display come from various family homes in Singapore and the region, and will touch on customs and lifestyles, furnishings and interiors, food and faith, languages and the arts.
STYLE: The third-floor galleries provide a glimpse into private and public worlds of fashion, glamour and personal adornment. A broad and spectacular range of materials, such as batik textiles, exquisite needlework, glittering jewellery and a variety of forms of dress – including the kebaya — consider the question of whether there is such a thing as “Peranakan style”. Prepare to be overwhelmed by the many star pieces on display.
Come February, the Peranakan Museum will also present new commissions –including one from contemporary artist Sam Lo – inspired by Peranakan identity.
Peranakan Museum is a department of the Asian Civilisations Museum, operating under the National Heritage Board. More information will be released closer to the reopening date.
For updates, follow the museum on Facebook (@PeranakanMuseumSingapore) and Instagram (@peranakanmuseum).