Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Walking Tour | Picturing Colonial Singapore - Situating photographic practice within the urban landscape of 19th century Singapore


G R Lambert & Co Portrait of Tan Jiak Kim c.1990, Singapore Photograph, 71.8 x 46.6 cm
Yong Fong Studio Portrait of Goh Boh Tan c.1920, Singapore Photograph, 59 x 43.3 cm

Date: 13 & 20 June  2014, Friday (Repeat Session)
Time: 9.00am - 12.30pm
Tour fee: $16 (for NUS students), $25 (for NUS staff and general public) Limited to 15 pax.
*Details on directions and meeting point will be sent after payment is made.

Please click here to view the eflyer.

To register, email museum@nus.edu.sg or call 6516 8817.

*Please make tour fee payment by 8 June 2014 at NUS Museum upon receiving a confirmation email.

Journey through a century of Singapore’s past seen through the lens of one of the important inventions in history – the camera. This walking tour takes participants to the sites of the first photography studios, highlighting the shifting centers of economic activity in the Colonial city-state. The development of the photographic medium and the proliferation of its industries were contemporaneous to Singapore’s economic progress under British rule. Photography studios were strategically situated within these spheres of trade and activity, providing conveniently located services to those who those who wanted to produce a likeness of themselves for posterity, commemoration or dissemination.

Since many of these sites have been either demolished or redeveloped, we will situate the locations of the studios of Singapore’s first daguerreotypists, the early photographers G.R Lambert; passing the studios of the Lee Brothers, Lambert & Co, Yong Fong and various studios patronized by prominent members of the Straits Chinese community, some of whom are represented in the ongoing exhibition of Straits Chinese portraits at the NUS museum.

About the Tour Leader:
Daphne Ang is presently a PhD candidate in the department of History of Art and Archaeology at SOAS, University of London and a research fellow at the National University of Singapore (NUS) Museum. Her doctoral research investigates the production of portraiture under the patronage of the Straits Chinese in Colonial Singapore. In 2013, she received an award from the Centre of Southeast Asian Studies (CSEAS) for her research. 

Daphne currently teaches a Masters course at SOAS in the Arts of Modern and Contemporary Southeast Asia. She is also the author of “The Portrait Project” (www.portraitsofthestraits.com), an online project established to locate and archive photographs from the personal family albums of Singaporeans.

Presenting Portraiture Series:
Presenting Portraiture is a talk series conceived in conjunction with a two-party exhibition featuring portraits of Peranakan Chinese. The first part Dressing the Baba was held at NUS Baba House till 31 July 2013, whilst the current exhibition Inherited and Salvaged: Family Portraits from the Straits Chinese Collection runs till mid 2014 at NUS Museum. Peranakan portraits represent an emerging area of collecting interest and this talk series explores a range of themes, concepts and ideas surrounding the making, collecting and functions of such artworks, including artistic practice and studio processes; pictorial conventions; collecting patterns; technical conservation; iconography and artefacts; and reflections on the social milieu.

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