New Peranakan Gallery opens at Changi Airport’s Terminal 4

New Peranakan Gallery opens at Changi Airport’s Terminal 4

The new gallery by the Peranakan Museum is located at the terminal’s departure transit area and features a snapshot of Peranakan culture, from photographs and furniture to artworks and fashion.

Peranakan Gallery Changi T4 (facade)
The new Peranakan Gallery at Changi Airport's Terminal 4. (Photo: Peranakan Museum, Changi Airport Group)

SINGAPORE: Travellers keen on a last-minute culture fix before flying off from Singapore will now have a chance to do so at the new Peranakan Gallery at Changi Airport’s Terminal 4, which opens tomorrow (Oct 31).

The new exhibition space measures 150 sq m and is located on the second level of the departure transit area, within walking distance from the terminal’s main Heritage Zone area, which will also feature the digital performance Peranakan Love Story.

Peranakan Gallery (Furniture and photos)
The new Peranakan Gallery features, among others, this blackwood furniture as well as old Peranakan photographs. (Photo: Peranakan Museum, Changi Airport Group)

This is the first collaboration between Changi Airport Group (CAG) and the National Heritage Board, which oversees the Peranakan Museum along Armenian Street.

Divided into four sections, the gallery features a selection of photographs; a cross-section doll house model of a Peranakan shophouse; traditional furniture such as a wedding bed; a selection of crockery from the national collection; and a fashion showcase of traditional sarong kebaya and Singapore Airlines’ own kebaya-inspired uniforms.

Peranakan Gallery Changi T4 (kebaya)
Traditional sarong kebayas are displayed alongside Singapore Airlines' iconic kebaya uniforms. (Photo: Mayo Martin)

There is also a section that looks at Peranakan culture from a contemporary perspective. The exhibits on display include a video on the iconic play Emily of Emerald Hill; a selection of reinterpreted porcelain ware by President’s Design Award-recipient Hans Tan; and photographer Suasti Lye’s The Modern Nyonya photo series.

According to Bernard Tan, deputy director for audience and contemporary art at the Peranakan Museum, the new gallery is not an attempt to replicate the museum at Armenian Street.

Instead, it is designed for business travellers or those transiting through “who have five minutes to spare”.

Peranakan Gallery Changi T4 (Suasti Lye exhibit)
Suasti Lye's photo series The Modern Nyonya at Changi Airport Terminal 4's Peranakan Gallery. (Photo: Peranakan Museum, Changi Airport Group)

“It’s meant to be a snapshot of what Peranakan culture is,” he said, adding that in the future, they are mulling over other possibilities for the gallery, such as presenting Peranakan performances or activities.

Poh Li San, CAG’s vice president for T4’s programme management office, pointed out how the new gallery space “works well within the Heritage Zone” and reckons there will be enough people to check out the new space.

Peranakan Gallery Changi T4 (Wedding bed)
A Peranakan wedding bed on display at the new Peranakan Gallery at Changi Airport's Terminal 4. (Photo: Mayo Martin)

An estimated 8 million passengers are expected to pass through the terminal on its first year, half of which would be departing passengers.

For now, the gallery is expected to be up for three years, with changes made to the exhibition set-up every six months.

Aside from providing travellers with a quick Peranakan experience, Peranakan Museum general manager John Teo said that the gallery itself could be a space to “test bed” ideas for museum’s own future exhibitions.

Source: CNA/mm