6 November 2016, 10:30am

(Registration starts at 9 am)

26 October - 5 November 2016, 11am - 7pm daily

Galeri Prima NSTP

Balai Berita, 31, Jalan Riong
59100 Bangsar, Kuala Lumpur


Anna Yusoff
+6017 657 5443
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We at Henry Butcher Asset Auctioneers Sdn Bhd, has embarked on a journey to bring to you, here in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, an unprecedented Peranakan Art Auction. This first ever and important Auction for collectors, museums and art lovers is planned for the 5th of November 2016 and will be the start of what we hope will be the definitive annual event for Peranakan art lovers and collectors.

The Peranakans are a unique result of the long and complex processes of social and communal fusion through both cross fertilisation and/or cross cultural assimilation over the years prior to the late 19th century, by the earlier arrivals of the Chinese (Babas & Nyonyas) and Indians (Chittys and Peranakan Jawi) with the Malays and other local residents in their new homes in the Nanyang (Southern Seas – SE Asia) driven both by economic motivation and the need to assimilate harmoniously into the Malay milieu of the Malay Archipelago.

This natural early example of ‘fitting in’ has been highly successful as a unique example of ‘Unity with Diversity’ with the Babas & Nyonyas. For example, their original Chinese and adopted Malay elements blend seamlessly and co-exist in perfect harmony. The Babas & Nyonyas spoke only Baba Malay in their heydays, with classical Chinese literature and legends written and read only in Baba Malay. They adopted a Malay-based matriarchal system, had pantuns and had their own adapted versions of Dondang Sayang and Bangsawan. The Nyonyas donned Malay-based attire in the Baju Panjang or Kebaya with a batik sarong, chewed betel leaf and betel nut with lime from their Tepak Sireh, while cooking their unique fusion dishes that created a whole new genre of culinary art so hip today. Yet the food was served in Chinese-originated Nyonya ware ceramics featuring mainly the Phoenix and Peony, the quintessential female symbols in Chinese iconography, which points to their matriarchal control in the family system. Yet the Chinese cultural norms and values were firmly in place. The Babas ran their businesses with true Chinese scrutiny and acumen, whilst Chinese family and individual names, ancestral worship, observance of Chinese customs and festivals and the male property inheritance traditions were non-negotiable.

The embroideries of the Nyonyas reflect the Chinese and European tastes. These enigmatic characteristics of this fast dwindling community add to its colour and fascination.

As a prelude to the actual Auction, a series of write-ups of various aspects of the cultural and heritage spectrum of the Peranakans will be done and distributed for full appreciation of this complex and highly sophisticated unique subset of the Chinese and Indian Diaspora in the South East Asian region.

The composition of the Auction has been planned to be varied and interesting and will include:
  • Civilisational Arts and Treasured Artifacts of the Peranakan World
  • Contemporary Artworks including Paintings

As a true reflection of the complex world of the Peranakan Community of Chinese, Indian and Eurasian heritage in SE Asia dating back to as far as the early 16th century, their ability to master the Malay language, the lingua franca of the region, and their prominence as community leaders and businessmen, this Auction needs your involvement, contributions and patronage to ensure its success. The collecting and curating of these art treasures and artworks of the Peranakan World is a labourious and painstaking task, requiring good Baba connoisseurship, connections and patience in dealing with the inheritors and owners of these pieces, Henry Butcher Asset Auctioneers is collaborating with well-known Peranakan expert Mr Henry Bong L H, himself a Baba, as curator and consultant in organizing this very important Auction to provide an avenue for collectors, owners and others to share and participate, through buying and/or selling their precious Peranakan Art pieces for this Auction appropriately themed “Treasures of the Peranakan World”.