Straits Chinese Embroidery & Beadwork is a tribute to the extensive examples of Peranakan beadworks from exquisite kasot manek and elaborate tapestries and accouterments for the bridal chamber to the daintiest personal items such as tiny pouches and purses. Serving both as a pictorial and a historical guide on the rare and priceless collection from the Pinang Peranakan Mansion. Its contents, viewed from the perspective and interpretation of a Straits Chinese, are based on research, personal communications, interviews, veriﬁcations, and recollections from Babas and Nyonyas from Penang and Singapore.
Straits Chinese Embroidery & Beadwork showcases, within its pages, a magnificent and valuable collection of Straits Chinese art history, priceless craft, textiles and needlecraft of the Straits Chinese community. A fusion of both Chinese and European inspiration and influences, Straits Chinese art and craft is gaining recognition and value throughout the world and has been much sought after by connoisseurs and collectors. Besides being informative, the book also serves to preserve, photographically, the beautiful past and the traditions and aesthetics unique to the Baba Nyonya community.
“Silk threads and glass beads in the Straits Chinese embroidery and beadwork has persisted the rise and fall of civilizations, kings and kingdoms, traversed the maritime silk route and weathered world wars. Through centuries, each stitch and bead composed and articulated in embroidery, in turn, fashioned societies, cultures, and the people they encountered. My research and writing has buoyed me along this same incredible and magical journey of explorations and expeditions, exploits and escapades, traversing time and oceans.
“Man’s fascinating ingenuity and aesthetics is ensconced inhe silk threads and beads. The magic of the needle and the mystery of the motifs have mesmerized many. Silks and beads work together to evoke the majesty, pomp and ceremony of an era. At the same time, they invoke celestial collaboration of cosmic proportions to procure heaven’s blessings on earth. The beauty, romance, and wonder of an era, are bound to the Straits Chinese, beautifully preserved and gently laid on silks and velvets.”—Lillian Tong, author of Straits Chinese Embroidery & Beadwork
Straits Chinese Embroidery & Beadwork was launched by HRH Raja Permaisuri Agong Tuanku Hajah Haminah (who also wrote the book’s Foreword) at the Pinang Peranakan Mansion on 30 Sept 2015.