Discover the Stories Behind Heritage Businesses in Chinatown that Have Stood the Test of Time!
They are stories of hard work, dedication, and resourcefulness
Photos Courtesy of The National Heritage Board
(Singapore, 15 September 2022) The heritage businesses of Chinatown are full of stories of hard work, dedication, and resourcefulness. From restaurants, confectioneries and tea merchants to goldsmiths and traditional Chinese medicine shops, they embody the ethos of the communities who live in the area.
The National Heritage Board (NHB) will be launching its Street Corner Heritage Galleries for Chinatown on 15 September 2022 with 11 participating heritage businesses. The scheme will celebrate and document the rich experiences of these businesses, which have thrived over the years and evolved to remain relevant to their customers today.
Under this scheme, NHB works closely with interested owners of heritage businesses with at least 30 years of history to co-curate and co-create “mini-museums” at their premises that showcase the history and heritage of their businesses and trades, accompanied by historical documents, photographs, artefacts, etc.
Street Corner Heritage Galleries: Chinatown will feature 11 heritage businesses in the precinct comprising Eu Yan Sang, Chop Wah On, Spring Court Restaurant, Mei Heong Yuen, On Cheong Jewellery, Tin Sing Goldsmiths, Kim Poh Hong Goldsmith, Bee Cheng Hiang, Lim Chee Guan, Tong Heng and Pek Sin Choon.
The Street Corner Heritage Galleries scheme is part of NHB’s ongoing efforts under Our SG Heritage Plan to strengthen partnerships with communities and raise awareness of and foster a deeper appreciation for heritage in everyday spaces. It is a three-year pilot scheme which was first launched in the Balestier precinct in March 2020, followed by the Kampong Gelam precinct in April 2021 and the Little India precinct in January 2022. The scheme will subsequently be rolled out to the Geylang Serai precinct in 2023.
In a nutshell, the scheme provides curatorial support in terms of research and content development, and funding for the fabrication of showcases. It also provides funding support for heritage businesses to present programmes such as talks, tours and workshops, and provides them with opportunities to participate in NHB’s signature events such as Singapore HeritageFest.
Mr Alvin Tan, Deputy Chief Executive (Policy & Community), NHB said: “Through our expanding network of street corner heritage galleries, we hope to raise public awareness and generate greater support for heritage businesses; equip the owners of these businesses with the necessary skills and experience to better showcase their heritage; and in doing so, activate the various precincts as “living showcases” of heritage businesses.”
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