Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Heritage Community Series | Decorative Art Nouveau Tiles: Luxuriant Flowers and Other Forms

Ceramic tiles in the Family Hall, NUS Baba House
Image courtesy of Tan Keng Khoon


Date: 24 September 2014, Wednesday 
Time: 6.30pm – 8.00pm
Venue: NUS Baba House

Limited to 30 pax. To register, email babahouse@nus.edu.sg

Join us for a talk by Victor Lim, an avid tile collector, to find out more about ceramic tiles, in particular those with Art Nouveau patterns commonly known as "Peranakan" tiles. He will take us on a brief historical journey of the manufacturers and share a few tricks on keeping them in good condition.

Decorative ceramic tiles were used in the latter half of the Victorian era in thousands of houses. They were glazed and incorporated designs predominantly based on floral motifs.

When those tiles gained popularity with the Chinese and Peranakan communities in Southeast Asia, various auspicious Chinese elements were introduced into the decorative designs. These included the dragon, phoenix, qilin, flowers and fruits such as the pomegranate and pineapple. Such tiles can be seen on the external walls of shophouses in areas such as Blair Plain, Emerald Hill, Joo Chiat, Katong and so forth.

About the speaker

Victor Lim is a Peranakan and a tile enthusiast who began collecting in the 1970s. He graduated in 1986 from the Oregon State University with a BA in Science in Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Management. Victor worked in the hospitality industry before starting Aster by Kyra, a company that manufactures ceramic tiles three years ago. In his free time, he enjoys salvaging tiles from old buildings and restoring old tiles to their former luster. Victor has an impressive collection of up to 8,000 "Peranakan" tiles to-date.

About the Heritage Community Series
Encouraged by the growing community of Singaporeans actively committed to exploring history and raising cultural awareness, the Heritage Community Series is introduced as a platform where independent researchers, heritage enthusiasts and collectors share their encounters, perspectives and experiences. 

Look out for our upcoming talks in the Heritage Community Series
Friday, 3 October 2014 - Demystifying Chinese Portraits
Wednesday, 15 October 2014 - A Heavenly Offering


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