Monday, 7 December 2015

A love for humanity

The bas reliefs of animals at Wak Hai Cheng Bio (3, Philip Street) are my favourite, especially this family portrait. The three tiger cubs are so adorable. Below, tiger mum snarling just a little and the cubs trying hard to look fierce, but very cute nevertheless.  All pictures taken on 4 Oct 2015.

YOU can see the love this artist and craftsman (or artists and craftsmen) had of the world around. Why else would they have crafted them so lovingly, with such fine proportion and such spirit and character? True, the scenes, people and animals were mythical but they were modelled from this world, with loving care. One can spend hours just looking at all those wall carvings and murals, trying to decipher the stories behind.

The temple (built between 1850 and 1855) was made from rosewood and it is the only temple in Singapore to have such detailed sculptures on its roof and engraved on its external walls (practically every corner and cornices). The Guangxu Emperor presented a plaque to the temple in 1907. Crafstmen from Chaoshan region (east of Guangdong, China) were brought in to restore the fine work in 2011 (2nd restoration so far.) This was completed in a year's time.

Michaelangelo was not the only one who had to paint on a scaffolding, and probably with wet plaster dripping onto his face. 
The sun (?) is a soft-boiled egg -- the type you can find at Ya Kun, hehe.
Painting on the wall that looks almost like a water colour. 
This door god has a rather quizzical look. While the one below (on the right door), has a more stern demeanour. But he looks to me, to be pondering on some issues, stroking his beard.  I do believe they are among the best dressed generals in Singapore's Chinese buildings. Just for comparison,  two other gentlemen guarding the doors of another temple (bottom pics).


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