Baba Bling : The Peranakan Chinese of Singapore


This exhibition tells a fascinating story : how an immigrant community created a unique culture by abandoning their own original culture and immersing themselves in the influences, customs and beliefs of their adopted country.

In Singapore, the term “Baba” designates a “Chinese man”, and by extension, the descendents of Chinese communities that were integrated in Southeast Asia beginning in the 14th century, communities that, over the years, incorporated many aspects of Malay culture into their culture of origin.

Wedding bed (Ranjang Kahwain)
© Collection of the Asian Civilisations Museum, Singapore

“Baba” also refers to the head of family who integrated elements of European culture through his parents and grandparents during the colonial period.

The intercultural integration that begins with this process is a lesson in open-mindedness and tolerance, two subjects that have never been more relevant.

A collection of approximately 480 pieces is assembled for the exhibition in order to highlight the luxurious, refined culture of these Chinese communities established in Singapore. The objects presented – furniture, valuable textiles ornamented with pearls and embroidery, porcelain… – which take their shapes, patterns and colors of the Chinese and Malay cultures, characterize the Peranakan identity.

White Kebaya with dragon motifs © Collection of the Asian Civilisations Museum, Singapore

October 05th, 2010 – January 30th, 2011

Galerie Jardin

Musée du Quai Branly

Paris, France

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Dernière modification : 06/09/2010

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