Peranakan Museum to reopen in mid-February 2023; features 9 galleries across 3 floors

The nine brand-new permanent galleries will display objects from Peranakan material culture.

Nnurul Shakinah

In love with anything matcha flavoured.

Published: 16 January 2023, 3:41 PM

The refurbished Peranakan Museum will reopen its doors to the public in mid-February after undergoing renovations for nearly four years, it announced on Friday (Jan 13). 

The new building will feature nine new permanent galleries spanning across three floors. The galleries are said to present “exceptional objects from Peranakan material culture”.

During its closure, the museum worked closely with various Peranakan communities to explore lesser-known aspects of Peranakan culture and to contemplate the question of “What is Peranakan?”.

To showcase living cultures such as that of the Arab Peranakans, Chinese Peranakans, Chitty Melakans (Peranakan Indians), and Jawi Peranakans, the museum has curated interviews, stories, and contemporary expressions. 

The new galleries will examine three grand themes pertaining to facets of Peranakan identity – “Origins”, “Home”, and “Style”. 

Besides familiar and well-loved artefacts and set-pieces, the museum will also premiere a range of new objects that were acquired or presented to them in the course of the last decade.

The first-floor galleries will explore the concept of “Origins” by rooting Peranakan culture in the Malay-Indonesian world and tracing how this hybrid identity emerged. 


One of such artworks featured in the first-floor galleries include a hand painted photograph of Batavia-born Peranakan, Lie Pa-toe Nio. PHOTO CREDIT: PERANAKAN MUSEUM


Meanwhile, the second-floor galleries are designed to evoke a warm and familiar living space, as they explore the concept of “Home”. 

According to the Asian Civilisations Museum (ACM), 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 and languages and the arts.


Here, visitors can expect to see a radiogram with Plessey autochanger and two HMV 78rpm records from 141 Neil Road. PHOTO CREDIT: PERANAKAN MUSEUM


The private and public Peranakan worlds of fashion, glamour and personal adornment will be displayed in the third-floor galleries. 

The galleries on this level explore the concept of “Style” as a broad range of materials, such as batik textiles, needlework, jewellery and a variety of forms of dress, including the kebaya, will be showcased. 


One of such artefacts that will be on display includes the Chitty Melaka addigai adapted from South Indian examples in the early 20th century. PHOTO CREDIT: PERANAKAN MUSEUM


Apart from the galleries, there will also be a new exhibition design and museum visitor experience.

Visitors can also expect to see new thematic showcases, objects, interactive displays, and programmes, that will allow them to gain insights into the diverse Peranakan cultures of Singapore and Southeast Asia. 

The museum will host new commissions this February, including one from contemporary artist Sam Lo inspired by Peranakan identity as well.

The Peranakan Museum will provide updates on the reopening date closer to February on its Facebook and Instagram pages. 

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