Singapore's Fading Traditional Trades and Crafts◎Jesvin Yeo平常價 $99.00
The trade of traditional crafts once enlivened the social and economic fields of old Singapore. When our ancestors came to Singapore from the south-eastern coast of China in the provinces of Fujian, Guangdong, and Hainan, the Malay Peninsula, Java, Sumatra and Sulawesi, and the Indian subcontinent, Tamil Nadu, Sri Lanka, and Puducherry during the 19th century and the first half of the 20th century, they brought along their values as well as their livelihoods. These livelihoods include various forms of traditional crafts, including songkok, Indian jewellery, and paper dragon boats, which have largely enriched Singapore’s rich cultural heritage.
This book documents 28 traditional craft trades of Singapore. Many of these invaluable trades have vanished or will vanish in the next 20 years. Nevertheless, some of these traditional trades such as rattan weaving, textile dyeing, and candle making have laid the foundation for the rise of modern craftsmen. Several traditional tradespeople have adapted and upgraded their crafts and businesses with the help of new technologies, such as laser engraving techniques for wood carving and blade-sharpening machines for improving the quality of grinding. In this modern Singapore, traditional crafts and trades have slowly dwindled due to the radically shifting cultural scene. But with the craftspersons’ continued ingenuity and perseverance, the crafts trade will continue to evolve and survive regardless of the changing landscape.
The book is fully embossed to signify the vanishing of Singapore’s traditional trades and crafts. Only we humans can help conserve, support, and bring attention to the significance of this intangible cultural heritage of Singapore. The attached pastel chalk is for you to shade the pages and discover the lost arts of our ancestors.
Dr Jesvin Yeo is an enthusiast committed to preserving cultural heritage and traditional crafts related to Singapore. She studies 100-year-old buildings, cultural artefacts and interacts with traditional artisans to explore design innovations and sustainable social initiatives. She shared her knowledge of Singapore’s traditional crafts and art forms globally and locally through international seminars and exhibitions in London, Berlin, Hamburg, Hong Kong, Shenzhen, Xiamen, Hangzhou, Shanghai, Venice and Cheongju. Jesvin is currently Associate Professor of Design Art at Nanyang Technological University and author of Forgotten Heritage: Uncovering Singapore’s Traditional Chinese Puppets, Vanishing crafts, and Architectural decoration: Negotiating symbols across time and place. Visit her website at www.designingculturesstudio.com
The Non-Existent Lover and other Stories◎Yeng Pway Ngon, translated by Goh Beng Choo, Edited by Jeremy Tiang平常價 $15.00
Featuring a selection of short stories written between the 1960s and 2000, this collection charts Yeng Pway Ngon's evolution in subject matter and style over time. The earlier stories, written at a time when Yeng was known for his modernist poetry, exude solitude and melancholy, and deal with themes such as the wanton rebelliousness of youth, or the poet's shuttling between death and dream. From the 1970s onwards, he turned his attention to societal concerns— depicting a lonely writer who falls in love with one of his own characters, an unhappy man yearning for life abroad who ends up in a mental hospital, an unemployed man who finds joy in his friendship with a white bird, and another, who worries that he might turn into a flower. Other stories introduce us to a parrot who gets taken to court, an ant enamoured with his silhouette, and a disembodied mouth worshipped by the public. Sarcastic, darkly humorous and surreal, Yeng's writing depicts everyday life in all its absurdism and glory
Food Republic: A Singapore Literary Banquet平常價 $32.00
Food Republic is a generous serving of Singapore's food culture: from the making and eating of food, to the sale and hawking of it, our love and hate of it, and the effects of its consumption and deprivation.
Food has always been our safe space, our comfort zone: a place where we could freely engage in heated arguments about the best nasi lemak, the most fragrant cendol and whether the standard of the stall has dropped or not. Yet this anthology, featuring more than one hundred literary explorations of our food and food culture, also shows that when people write about food, they often aren't just talking about food but usually about something else, closer to the heart. Or the bone.
Curated from previously published work and selections from an open call, the poems, fiction and non-fiction in Food Republic range from the passionately realised to tantalisingly surreal. Think of it as a buffet, a banquet, an omakase, a smorgasbord, a nasi padang spread, a thali or a rijssttafel – we hope we've assembled one to your taste. Come. Eat.
Some Contributors: Arthur Yap, Leong Liew Geok, Edwin Thumboo, Toh Hsien Min, Wong Phui Nam, Shirley Geok-lin Lim, Koh Jee Leong, Lee Tzu Pheng, Joshua Ip, Margaret Leong, Alvin Pang, Catherine Lim, Ng Yi-Sheng, Amanda Lee Koe, Alfian Sa'at, Wong May, Gopal Baratham, Desmond Kon Zhicheng-Mingdé, Yong Shu Hoong, Aaron Maniam, Hamid Roslan, Daren Shiau, Boey Kim Cheng, Theophilus Kwek, Cyril Wong and Jennifer Anne Champion