Amek Gambar – Taking Pictures: Peranakans and Photography
Edited by Peter Lee
Essays by Joachim K. Bautze, Sebastian Dobson, J. Casey Hammond, Peter Lee, Gilles Massot, Gael Newton, Liesbeth Ouwehand, and Susie Protschky
Hardcover, 420 pages
Peranakans were quick to exploit the potential of photography when it arrived in Singapore. From ritual spaces to personal albums, from intimate lockets to social media, this book shows how the presence of the photographic image in Peranakan life reveals the typically diverse ways an old community has grappled with this visual medium in expressing identity, tradition, locality, modernity, nationality, and art. Amek Gambar also charts the early history of photography in Singapore, from European travellers Jules Itier, Fedor Jagor, August Sachtler, G. R. Lambert, and John Thomson to pioneering Chinese and Japanese studios in the region. Informative essays and more than 400 photographs, ranging from the 1840s to 2009, make this book a valuable historical resource, and fascinating to flip through.