Join Fabian and Andrew for a walk and listen to stories of Brotherhood in Bukit Brown.

Disclaimer: By agreeing to take walking tours  of Bukit Brown Cemetery, I understand and accept that I must be physically fit and able to do so.To the extent permissible by law, I agree to assume any and all risk of injury or bodily harm to myself and persons in my care (including child or ward) Please read if you are attending our guided walks for the first time, useful info on safety : Getting There/游览信息 If you have a facebook account please register on the FB links provided  unless otherwise stated. There is also a walk by post museum in the after, please see details below for registration.

Meeting place for all Walks : At the Lor Halwa Main gates at Bukit Brown

Sun 20 July 9am – 11.30am : Brotherhood in Bukit Brown (click on the link to visit the facebook event page) ————————–————————–———————- Please bring umbrella or poncho and sun protection.
Please wear covered footwear.
Please bring mosquito repellent. Note that there will also be a private tour conducted as part of Singapore Heritage Festival on the same date and time, so check that you are in the correct group when the tour starts to avoid disappointment!

More on the Walk: A  journey of brotherhood and sisterhood (of course) between strangers tied to each other by hardship and common dreams. Newly arrived immigrants unrelated by blood or kinship who vowed to look after one another’s families in a new island of opportunities. Idealists who join forces with the shared dream of a new China without feudalism and injustice. Coolies who just wanted to look out for each other’s livelihoods and safety. Celebrated sisters who moved heaven and earth to rescue their man. Woman who look after ladies deserted by fate or philanderers . And of course, there is the brotherhood of underground organizations e.g. Heaven & Earth Guild & Little Dagger Society. All these stories and more, lost in the mist of time and fog… Until now.

Sunday 20th July’14 : 4pm – 6.30pm : Outpost 76 Intro to Bukit Brown

In this walk, you’ll enjoy the lovely greenery and serene environment, see some of Singapore’s wildlife, visit some of our forefathers and learn more about the special heritage aspects of Bukit Brown.

RSVP is a must as we have only 15 spaces available. Please email admin@post-museum.org with name, tel and number of spaces required and we’ll get back to you.

Tour group at Bukit [photo: Bianca Polak]

Tour group at Bukit Brown [photo: Bianca Polak]

 

For the first time Bukit Brown has been included in the Singapore HeritageFest with partners Singapore Heritage Society.

The walks are free but  registration is needed via the Festival website only here

Registration opens 1 July, 2014. Spaces are limited so register early to avoid disappointment!

Bukit Brown in the City

Saturday July 19 & July  26, 4pm – 6.30pm

A number of pioneering settlers of 18th and 19th century colonial Singapore who were buried in the Chinese cemeteries of the Greater Bukit Brown Complex (including the first Chinese Municipal Cemetery) are today still remembered by streets and buildings bearing their name.
The activities and efforts of these movers and shakers – many of whom were members of leading Chinese families in other contemporary European colonies -  contributed significantly to colonial Singapore’s transformation, from a  regional entrepot port to a modern and globally significant trade and finance hub, the enterprise envisaged at its founding in 1819

“Bukit Brown in the City” , takes you on a guided walk that covers Raffles Place; Boat Quay; Chulia Street (formerly Kling Road); Phillip Street; Telok Ayer Street; Club Street and eventually ending at Bukit Pasoh Road. Experience what life was like and what has changed over the years in old downtown Singapore.

The City in Bukit Brown

Sunday July 20th & 27th, 9am – 11.30am

Between 1922 and the period of the Second World War, a majority of the Chinese residents of Singapore were buried in Bukit Brown cemetery. Some of those buried here, were well-known and distinguished pioneers like Tan Ean Kiam; Gan Eng Seng; Tan Chor Nam; Lim Chong Pang; Tan Kheam Hock; Ong Sam Leong; Tan Boo Liat; See Tiong Wah – and they were leading contributors to the economic, social as well as cultural life of Singapore.

With “City in Bukit Brown”, we invite you to join the “Brownies” who will introduce you to the tombs of these prominent pioneers who landmarked street names and places all over Singapore. Listen to accounts of their lives, their fascinating backgrounds and the endearing legacies they handed down to our generation today.”

*****************************************************************************

About the Guides:

Alex Tan Tiong Hee, “Curator” and lead guide of “Bukit Brown in the City”

Alex, who studied law in England, was brought up on the lap of history. He was very close to his father, the late Tan Yeok Seong, who was a historian and scholar, as well as a publisher of educational textbooks for schools in Singapore. From his father was nurtured, an acute appreciation for the colonial history of Singapore vis-a-vis developments in China at that time Alex, lends to this heritage walk, his personal experience of historical places and the pioneers who are buried in Bukit Brown. Alex is an Executive Committee member of the Singapore Heritage Society.

The Brownies: The Brownies are the volunteers who have been spending their weekends conducting heritage walks at Bukit Brown since 2012. To date, over 11.000 people have visited Bukit Brown in organized walks. Inspired by positive responses from the public, the Brownies would like to spread and share the collective stories of the pioneers in Bukit Brown to the rest of the island. Chew Keng Kiat who is curating “The City in Bukit Brown” has conducted 120 guided walks at Bukit Brown.

More on the walks:

The Bukit Brown in the City and the City in Bukit Brown walks were specially curated for the Singapore Heritage Festival so as to storyboard a direct connection between two places – the City and the Cemetery. The former which stretches from the present Raffles Place to Club Street landmarks the commerce and business networks of our colonial past; the latter, the contributions of pioneers buried in Bukit Brown and our migrant history.

Many of the places within the city which served as offices for banks, shipping and trading houses no longer exist in their original physical form, but they are nonetheless still landmarked by the names of the pioneers who breathed life to them. The handful that still exist physically have been re-purposed to keep up with the times.

Consider “The Arcade” in Raffles Place and the connection with number 26 Boat Quay. The Arcade of yesterday was the offices of Guthrie; 26 Boat Quay – today “Penny Black” – was the business premises of Tan Kim Ching, eldest son of Tan Tock Seng. Both Guthrie and Tan Kim Ching were the builders of the Tanjong Pagar Dockyards – the precursor of what became the Port Authority of Singapore.

Penny Black Pub James Tann

Penng Black pub formerly offices of Tan Kim Ching (phot James Tann)

Some 10 doors away, 17 Boat Quay (present day OUB concourse) does not exist today, but back in the day it harbored a political fugitive from China.  Kang You Wei was the architect of the failed movement to reform and stem the decline of the Imperial Qing from corruption and systemic abuse. The man who provided him refuge, Khoo Seok Wan, was an intellect and poet who inherited his father’s vast fortunes founded on rice trading of which number 17 was the office.

The City was more than just a place of commerce, it was a gathering of prevailing social, economic and political thought congregated at the Goh Loo Club, a gentlemen’s club, the last stop of the walk.  

As such the walks are bespoke in nature, drawing on the personal as well as the broad strokes of the historical context of the life and times of the pioneers buried in Bukit Brown, and their web of connections as the elite of the day. But though elitist in make-up, it was their collective actions that had reflected their concerns for the larger populace and how to uplift their lot in life.

In contrast, with the City, the Cemetery has better withstood the test of time until plans were announced for an 8 lane highway which will slice it into half. As a burial ground for the Chinese from as far as back as the late 1800s, the Cemetery with 100,000 graves has been fertile ground for a group of volunteers called “Brownies”, who have been sharing what they have learned about the life stories of the pioneers in the City in their guided walks. The tomb of Tan Kim Ching is inscribed with Qing imperial titles as well as titles from Siam, Japan and Russia.

As a complementary to the City In Bukit Brown, the walk in the Cemetery is a gateway into another dimension of their life stories, the compelling inscriptions and the architecture of the graves.

Heritage Fest 2014 FLyer

 

Disclaimer: By agreeing to take walking tours  of Bukit Brown Cemetery, I understand and accept that I must be physically fit and able to do so.To the extent permissible by law, I agree to assume any and all risk of injury or bodily harm to myself and persons in my care (including child or ward)

Please read if you are attending our guided walks for the first time, useful info on safety : Getting There/游览信息

If you have a facebook account please register on the FB links provided  unless otherwise stated.

Meeting place for all Walks : At the Lor Halwa Main gates at Bukit Brown

Sun 6 July 9am – 11.30am : Following our Early Pioneers in Bukit Brown

Join Keng Kiat and Bianca for a walk and listen to stories of our early pioneers.
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Please note that there is a Thai television crew that will be following and filming our tour.
If you have a facebook account please register on the event page here

Tan Boo Liat (photo: Claire Leow)

Tan Boo Liat (photo: Claire Leow)

 

Disclaimer: By agreeing to take walking tours  of Bukit Brown Cemetery, I understand and accept that I must be physically fit and able to do so.To the extent permissible by law, I agree to assume any and all risk of injury or bodily harm to myself and persons in my care (including child or ward)

Please read if you are attending our guided walks for the first time, useful info on safety : Getting There/游览信息

If you have a facebook account please register on the FB links provided  unless otherwise stated.

Meeting place for all Walks : At the Lor Halwa Main gates at Bukit Brown

Saturday 21 June 6.45pm – 8 pm : A Twilight Stroll into the Chapters of Our Past

(Please bring torch lights for this walk)

Join Andrew Lim for a gentle stroll into the cool evening and soak in the stories of the past. The walk will lead to the biggest tomb, the size of 10 HDB three-room flats where you are invited to get comfortable in the “descendant’s hall” and listen to our “Lee Dai Sor” share stories of the lives and times of pioneers buried in Bukit Brown and some of the darkest chapters of our history.

FB registration here

Sunday 22 June 9am – 11.30am : Guided Walk in Hill 3

Join Keng Kiat for a walk around Hill 3 and uncover stories that are sometimes less heard of from the regular tours.

FB registration here

Sunday 22 June 4pm-6.30pm : Outpost 73 Intro to Bukit Brown

Only 15 spaces available for this walk. Please email admin@post-museum.org with name, tel and number of spaces required and we’ll get back to you.

Come for a relaxing walk around Bukit Brown and catch a glimpse of the disappearing beauty and serenity of the original site while you still can!
In this walk, you’ll enjoy the lovely greenery and serene environment, see some of Singapore’s wildlife, visit some of our forefathers and learn more about the special heritage aspects of Bukit Brown.

 

 

 

Disclaimer: By agreeing to take walking tours  of Bukit Brown Cemetery, I understand and accept that I must be physically fit and able to do so.To the extent permissible by law, I agree to assume any and all risk of injury or bodily harm to myself and persons in my care (including child or ward) Useful info here: Getting There/游览信息

Meeting place: At the Lor Halwa Main gates at Bukit Brown

Sun 15 June’14 9am – 11.45am:

Victims, Heroes and Collaborators : Perspectives from Bukit Brown, The Japanese Occupation

If you have a FB account, please register here (if not just drop us a comment to say how many  are coming)

Join Peter Peter  as he takes you on a exploration of Bukit Brown and hear stories of tragedy: of a young life taken away during the bombing of S’pore and of a father who died of his war wounds just after the end of the war. You will also hear story of betrayal, leading to the death of the King’s Medal recipient. His ashes was only returned 11 years later and given a heroes burial.

We will also reveal the story of an ambush by the resistance forces that lead to the death of a pioneer whose burial was touted by the Japanese Military Administration as Syonan-to’s first public funeral and for another survivor of that very same ambush, transformed his life tremendously as he went on after the war to play a pivotal role in the growth of Buddhism in S’pore.

Finally, we will hear stories of collaboration by Chinese leaders who were forced under duress or collaborated as part of a survivor instinct or for personal gain; hear this stories of how they survived or died during this difficult period in Singapore’s history at Singapore’s heritage park, Bukit Brown.
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Bukit Brown is on the World Monuments Watch list 2014 . Find out what makes this a heritage site worthy of preserving. http://bukitbrown.com/main/?p=7930

“We guide rain, shine or exhumations”

 

(photo Peter Pak)

by Raymond Ang

We visited Bukit Brown on a warm Saturday morning on June 7th , to find that the usual scene to the cemetery gates changed. There are now fences leading all the way to the gates. Clearly the construction for the highway has started.

I had brought my students from the Jakarta Nanyang School here to Bukit Brown to learn more about the links between Indonesia and Singapore. The students sweltered in the humidity. I had two groups and one group had lost their way. They had set off from Nanyang Girls’ High School and one of them took a wrong bus.

Beng from the heritage group for Bukit Brown arrived on his bicycle dressed in green cargo pants and wellies. He wore “the” plastic Casio digital watch – the one I wore growing up in Secondary school. He had jerry rigged a plastic bottle to act as a mud guard for the rear wheel of his bicycle. I knew I was going to like him already.

Just as Claire arrived in a taxi, the group that was lost called me on the phone. They were still trying to figure out where they are. Their teacher was from Jakarta too and didn’t know her way around. We decided to start the walk with the one group of students first.

Claire led the way and started to draw connections between the pioneers’ lives, history and culture in Singapore and Indonesia for the students. The tombstones started to mean more than just a random collection of stone, concrete and tiles. The Japanese attack and occupation of Singapore was a large theme – Mr Tay Koh Yat had fled to Batavia on the second last day of the fall of Singapore.

JNV Students with Claire Leow at Tay Koh Yat(photo Raymond Ng)

JNY Students with Claire Leow at Tay Koh Yat (photo Raymond Ng)

Mr Lee Kuan Yew had family ties in Indonesia. Though bothered by mosquitoes and the heat, the students trudged on. Beng brought out his insect repellant and sprayed the students down. I had told the students to bring some repellent yesterday, but I guess no one did.

We found out that the other group were on the other side of the hill – Mount Pleasant. Beng offered to go get them and dashed off on his bicycle. Claire drew the connections between saga seed and karats for diamonds; between colourful European tiles, Japanese innovation and adaptation and the Ming Chinese influence on Dutch kitchen tiles.

We visited Ong Sam Leong’s tomb and learned about fengshui and distinctive role of Sikhs in Singapore’s colonial history. This is the Nanyang style. One of my students asked me what would happen when the highway gets built. I replied that all this would disappear eventually – she didn’t seem to quite understand. “But it is interesting”, she said. “Yes I agree. I don’t think there is anything else quite like it in the world.” She frowns. “So it would all be gone?”. I nodded. It was sweltering hot. Some of the students were running low on water. Beng pulls out his canteen and starts topping up bottles. I feel very grateful and touched, but wasn’t sure how to express that. So I just smiled and made a mental note.

JNY Students with Beng Tang _photo Raymond Ng

JNY Students with Beng Tang (photo Raymond )

We ended the tour with a visit to Mr Tan Chor Nam’s tomb. It is simple and distinctively modern. A rectangular plot with a black rectangular headstone. No angels nor lions here. Herein lies one of the founders of Nanyang Girls’ High School. I asked the students to observe the differences between this tomb and the others we have visited in the morning – they could clearly see the difference. The principle of Nanyang Girls High (Singapore), Mdm Heng had told me once that Mr Tan Chor Nam had died a simple man – apparently he had dedicated a large part of his fortune in setting up the school. I tried to draw the connections between Nanyang Girls’ High School and the sister school in Jakarta, and asked the students to maybe think about how they would like to be remembered in the future.

For me Bukit Brown is a reminder that we stand on the shoulders of giants who have come before us, and shaped the environment in which we have grown and “become”. “What would your legacy be?” I asked? The students looked back at me without speaking. It was a serious question. Maybe too serious. I smiled and said, “alright, you don’t have to tell me. Just think about it.” I hope they do.

****

Raymond Ang, a Singaporean, is the Head of Experiential Education Centre at the JNY, the Jakarta Nanyang School. He requested a visit to Bukit Brown when his students were on a week long learning journey to Singapore. Brownies Claire Leow and Beng Tang, who stepped up to the plate, despite the late notice, were very impressed with how engaged the students were and their independence as they had to find their own way to Bukit Brown.

JNY Students at Ong Sam Leong (photo All Things Bukit Brown)

JNY Students at Ong Sam Leong (photo All Things Bukit Brown)

3rd June 2014

Tomb Measurement 2-Day Workshop with Dr. Lai Chee Kien

NB: There has been a change in starting time for Session one at NLB from 1 pm to 1.15pm.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

(photo Lai Chee Kien)

Places available: :30

Session One  : 1.15pm -4pm, Saturday 14 June 2014

Location: Imagination Room, 5th floor, National Library, Victoria Street

 Session Two  3.30pm- 6.30pm, Saturday  21 June 2014,

Location: Bukit Brown Cemetery Gate (meeting point)

1)  Description:

From 2011-2013, several architecture students supervised Dr Lai Chee Kien have measured tombs at the former Bukit Brown Municipal Cemetery as an attempt to record the historical and unique types and hybrids found in the cemetery, now under threat of road development. This workshop aims to share the basics of measuring objects and buildings, but with a focus on the experiences of measuring tombs at Bukit Brown. It is hoped that design students and members of the public can learn the basics of tomb measurement, and in future volunteer to record other significant tombs, or those of deceased relatives. These will serve as archival records in the future for all.

2) Scope

14 June 2014 (Theory session)

(a) Introduction to measuring objects and buildings

(b) Methods, tools, and practices

(c) Tomb types and features

(d) Inhouse practice session

21 June 2014 (Practical session at Bukit Brown)

(e) Introduction to Bukit Brown

(f) Groupwork: measuring a small tomb

3. Things to bring (theory session)

(a) A4 clipboard

(b) Measuring tape (5m or more)

(c) Pen or pencil (paper will be provided)

[Items for practical will be discussed at theory session]

4. Pre-requisites

(a) Participants who have attended guided tours of Bukit Brown cemetery would be appreciated.

(b) Participants who have prior 3D drawing knowledge (architects, designers, architectural and design students) would have an advantage.

(c) Participants are required to attend both the theory and practical sessions.

Disclaimer: By agreeing to participate in the practical session held at Bukit Brown Cemetery, I understand and accept that I must be physically fit and able to do so. To the extent permissible by law, I agree to assume any and all risk of injury or bodily harm to myself.

To register, please email latest Wednesday 11   June’2014 to : a.t.bukitbrown@gmail.com
with Subject; Registration for Tomb Measurement Workshop.Participants to indicate name, IC, contact number, email and relevant interest/experience as stated in 4 (a) and (b). Successful applicants will be informed by email. 

About Dr. Lai Chee Kien:

Dr Lai is a registered architect, and graduated from the National University of Singapore with an M Arch. by research [1996], and then a PhD in History of Architecture & Urban Design from the University of California, Berkeley [2005]. He researches on histories of art, architecture, settlements, urbanism and landscapes in Southeast Asia

Lai Chee Kien of the documentation team (photo: Claire Leow)                 Dr.  Lai Chee Kien of the documentation team (photo: Claire Leow)

Disclaimer: By agreeing to take walking tours  of Bukit Brown Cemetery, I understand and accept that I must be physically fit and able to do so.To the extent permissible by law, I agree to assume any and all risk of injury or bodily harm to myself and persons in my care (including child or ward) Useful info here: Getting There/游览信息

Sun 8 June’14 9am – 11.30am  Meeting place: At the Lor Halwa Main gates at Bukit Brown

Sikh guards are a unique part of Singapore history, and the Sikh guards of Bukit Brown are our unique heritage. They were favored by the British and the Chinese alike and provided a snapshot of how the Chinese community evolved to adopt other local cultures, thus becoming more Singaporean. Join Peter Pak and Ishvinder Singh as they take you on a visit of a Major, a tomb with a Sikh guard engulfed by a tree, the Sikh guards protecting the largest tomb in BB, the iconic Sikh guards of Chew Geok Leong and other Sikh guards that we may stumble upon as we get “lost” in Hill 3. If you have a FB account please register here. No worries if you don’t, just turn up. Your Guides: Listen to Ish in  Search of a Shared Heritage: Ishvinder Singh at TEDxYouth@Singapore http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9LxxT00CtBo Read about Sikh Guards of Bukit Brown by Peter Pak. Further reading on Sikh Guards : Reputation: The Guardians of the Spirit World Bukit Brown-

The Sikh Guards at Chew Geok Leong (photo Peter Pak)

The Sikh Guards at Chew Geok Leong (photo Peter Pak)

 

 

Disclaimer: By agreeing to take walking tours  of Bukit Brown Cemetery, I understand and accept that I must be physically fit and able to do so.To the extent permissible by law, I agree to assume any and all risk of injury or bodily harm to myself and persons in my care (including child or ward)

Useful info here: Getting There/游览信息

Sat 24 May, 4pm – 6.30pm  Meeting place: At the Lor Halwa Main gates at Bukit Brown

Join Claire Leow and Bianca Polak for a guided walk to introduce you to the pioneers of Bukit Brown, rites and rituals and tomb culture.

If you have a FB account please register here. No worries if you don’t, just turn up.

Beauty shots  5 (photo public domain)

 

 

 

Date: Saturday, 7 June’14, 2 pm – 4 pm

“As part of Post-Museum’s participation in the group exhibition Unearthed, Woon Tien Wei will speak about our efforts regarding Bukit Brown, as well as our artwork on show (The Bukit Brown Index).

Peter Chen will also be speaking at the same session, on his photography work about Bukit Brown and Tanjong Pagar Railway Station.

The talk is free and will be held in the Glass Hall at the Singapore Art Museum.
Please register with Singapore Art Museum at http://www.eventbrite.sg/e/unearthed-conversations-post-museum-peter-chen-tickets-11328544983.

About the exhibition :

Post-Museum will be exhibiting 8 works from The Bukit Brown Index in Unearthed.

Mar 21 – 6 Jul : 10am – 7 pm

Unearthed seeks to investigate our relationship with Earth and the natural world, and charts SAM’s ( Singappore Art Museum) new direction in encompassing and presenting projects and practices where art intersects with other disciplines and modalities. Drawing on works from SAM’s permanent collection as well as private collections, the exhibition at SAM offers an insight on how artists in Singapore view and respond to the natural world, coming from and living in such an urban and built-up environment.

The other artists who are in the exhibition include Lucy Davis, Debbie Ding, Ho Tzu Nyen, Donna Ong, Ezzam Rahman, Robert Zhao Renhui, and Twardzik Ching Chor Leng.

Bukit Brown Index Post Museum

[Image: Installation view of Bukit Brown Index #98: List of Names of the Deceased to be Exhumed to Make Way for the New 8-Lane Road through Bukit Brown and Seh Ong Cemeteries (Unclaimed Tombs as of 1 March 2013) Handwritten by Members of the Public]

 

 

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