The first commercially viable form of photography was invented in France in 1839, and it quickly made its way to Southeast Asia. Peranakans were among the first subjects captured by photographers arriving from Europe. Amek Gambar (“taking pictures”): Peranakans and Photography presents early photographs of the community, including the oldest example in Singapore’s National Collection: a portrait of a Peranakan family taken in 1857 or 1858.

European photographers established the earliest commercial studios in Asia, and almost immediately enterprising Asians learned the new technology and started studios of their own. Many Peranakans were among those intrigued by this fledgling art. They captured their own likenesses and dress, their cities and their rituals. The exhibition includes studio and amateur photographs of Peranakans in Malaysia, Indonesia, and Myanmar. In celebration of a donation by Mr and Mrs Lee Kip Lee of 2535 photographs to the Peranakan Museum, Amek Gambar explores the multifaceted role of photography in the lives of Peranakans.

June Holiday Program At The Peranakan Museum

Amek Gambar: Peranakans and Photography

Dates: 5 May 2018 to 3 February 2019
Time: 10am – 7pm (Mondays to Thursdays, Weekends), 10am to 9pm (Fridays)
Venue: Peranakan Museum
Admission Fees: Admission charges apply
For more information, please visit here.


Space, time, and memories (as part of Amek Gambar: Peranakans and Photography)

Date: 5 May 2018 to 3 February 2019
Admission Fees: Free Admission

Why do we take photos? How do we use them? The Peranakan Museum invites visitors to contemplate how digital technology has revolutionized the way we capture memories and the reasons we use photography today. Explore snapshots of Singapore and Singaporean life in this ever-evolving installation.

Snap a photo of your best side at Amek Gambar & Co., a photo studio designed for the Amek Gambar exhibition and inspired by vintage photographic studios. Pop in at different times throughout the year for new props, new themes, and new things to play with and learn. Tag your photo #tpmsg for us to see!

Join us and visit here to submit your modern-day selfie, family photo, your special spaces and places, and more. Leave your digital footprint with us!

Peranakan Museum


Breaking Barrier
Date: 1 September to 31 October 2018

Looking at photographs is a way to see things from another person’s perspective. What is revealed in the process? In collaboration with the Alzheimer’s Disease Association, look through the lenses of persons with dementia, exploring meaning and memory through photography.


Straits Family Sunday Peranakan Museum

Lecture by Lavender Chang: Duration of indeterminacy
Date: 28 September 2018
Time: 7pm
Venue: Ixora Room, Peranakan Museum
Admission Fees: Free admission

Artist and photographer Lavender Chang will talk about her experiments with analogue techniques, as well as her use of digital photography for commissioned portraits of celebrities, including those of local actor and theatre director Ivan Heng and French designer Christian Louboutin.

Peranakan Museum


Straits Family Sunday – Mari Dondang Sayang (Let’s Dondang Sayang)
Date: 7 October 2018
Time: 1 to 5pm
Admission Fees: Free admission

Learn to Dondang Sayang this Sunday at the museum! Go on a musical tour in the galleries and discover the Peranakan’s love for music. Make your own musical instrument at the craft station, play dress up with the whole family, and form your own Peranakan band!

For more information on TPM programmes, please visit here.


Amek Gambar Curator Tours
Date: 26 October 2018 (Friday)
Time: 7.30pm to 8.30pm
Admission Fees: Free admission with museum admission

Join our exhibition curator (Peter Lee or Dominic Low) to hear their thoughts and get exclusive behind-the-scenes insights into the world of early photography, and how it was used in the Peranakan community.

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