This robe with purple and gold sequins is part of a Chinese opera costume (2007-51651). It belonged to the late Singaporean Cantonese opera artists, Mr. Liew Seng Wah and Mdm. Pak Choy Yoke. Mr. Liew was the founder of the now defunct opera company, Kwong Wah Dramatic Troupe. The couple were regional stars during their heyday in the 1930s to 1950s. As celebrated artists, their costumes and accessories were top of the line, with high quality workmanship and intricate designs. Chinese opera, or Chinese ‘wayang’, is a form of theatrical performance. Brought over by immigrants from southeast China to Singapore in the late 19th century, it is performed for both entertainment and religious purposes—both indoors and outdoors. Chinese ‘wayang’ was a popular form of entertainment in Singapore between the 1890s and the early 1930s. Its popularity waned drastically in the 1970s with the emergence of cinema and television. Nonetheless, it is still recognised in Singapore today as traditional culture and an art form.

Date/Period
1930s-1950s
Region
Singapore
Dimension
Object size: 143.3 x 181.5 cm
Accession No.
2007-51651-001
Collection of
National Museum of Singapore
Category
Theatre Artefacts