Tag Archives: Sultan Gate

A Family Business, a Heritage Legacy

Kampong Glam, an ever hip arts enclave, is a heritage district in the city. It is distinctive as being the former palace of the sultan, it has an immersion of rich cultures from Malay, Arab, Turkish, Javanese influences, while also having Indian, Chinese and Eurasian touches in the neighbourhood. Sultan Gate, a road leading to the former Sultan Palace which is currently a Malay Heritage Centre, is also a “gate” to a wealth of Art and Legacy.

pic2Just located outside the Malay Heritage Centre, lies a row of shophouses that are full of art and heritage. Within a wall of street art, a shop strikes out. Within a glass frontage, one can see the unique Malay and Javanese craft welcoming you into the interiors.

SAMSUNG CSC “Kiah’s Gallery” is a Batik-inspired arts showsroom. Started by a Malay family, one can see the family legacy passed down to the modern age. Yati, the founder of the gallery, started the business together with her family, including her husband and daughter Ain, three years ago. They called this business “Kiah’s Gallery”, with inspired with the name of Ain’s nenek or grandma, as part of keeping the family legacy.

SAMSUNG CSCBeing inspired by a Batik piece they bought from a trader, they grew to love this art, despite it being a dying craft in Singapore. With their personal love of the art reaching its peak three years ago, the family decided to convert their personal love to share with the lovers of this unique Batik art.

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SAMSUNG CSCFor the first 18 months, the business was tough. Being new in this line and having to compete with other players in the neighbourhood, Kiah’s Gallery had to find a place in this business. From purely retailing batik-designer pieces, they have extended their services into tailoring and customization, as well as introducing other art pieces like paintings and sculptures.

SAMSUNG CSCSince then the business has been growing well. Their customers consist of a mix of locals as well as tourists. Kiah’s Gallery also carry designer pieces and artefacts that reflect the cultural influences of the Nanyang and Malay heritage. Art pieces from internationally renowned Batik painter Sarkasi Said are also displayed and sold here.

SAMSUNG CSC SAMSUNG CSC SAMSUNG CSCEvery Batik piece is an art. There are several techniques in the craft. It has influences involving Chinese, Dutch, Indian, Malay and Javanese cultures, as this part of the world has such infuses of these cultures throughout the centuries. Different emblems, like the phoenix and other legendary icons symbolizes the influence of the associated culture. Now there are also modern touches to the craft, like Japanese incursions, to make Batik an exciting artpiece to wear. SAMSUNG CSC SAMSUNG CSCSAMSUNG CSC If you are interested to visit the gallery and explore for yourself, please note the following information.

Name: Kiah’s Gallery (look for Yati and Ain)

Address: 71 Unit B Sultan Gate Singapore 198496

Wear an Artpiece, Touch a Legacy (Introduction to Batik Art and fashion)

Excerpt from Wikipedia:

“Batik is a technique of manual wax-resist dyeing applied to whole cloth, or cloth made using this technique. Batik is made either by drawing dots and lines of the resist with a spouted tool called a canting, or by printing the resist with a copper stamp called a cap. The applied wax resists dyes and therefore allows the artisan to color selectively by soaking the cloth in one color, removing the wax with boiling water, and repeating if multiple colors are desired.

SAMSUNG CSC SAMSUNG CSC SAMSUNG CSC SAMSUNG CSCA tradition of making batik is found in various countries, including Nigeria, China, India, Malaysia, Philippines and Sri Lanka; the batik of Indonesia, however, is the most well-known. Indonesian batik made in the island of Java has a long history of acculturation, with diverse patterns influenced by a variety of cultures, and is the most developed in terms of pattern, technique, and the quality of workmanship. On October 2009, UNESCO designated Indonesian batik as a Masterpiece of Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity. ”

Batik art was rather unappealing to me for quite a long time. Preferring contemporary art work, I thought Batik art as somewhat outdated and unfashionable. Even old Chinese art fascinated me more than Batik. The closest encounter I had with Batik art, was during a trip to Genting in 2001. It was during a short trip shortly after my graduation when my friends and I were thinking of visiting the casino, but we were not in the right attire. Based on the management, we have to wear either collared formal or Batik wear. Being newly-minted engineering graduates then, our apparel style was just the basic streetwear of T-shirts and jeans. That killed off any idea of visiting the casino there even till now, as well as any positive feel in this art ironically.

After the visit to Kiah’s Gallery in 71 Unit B Sultan Gate, my encounter for Batik art took a new twist. The owners of the gallery, Yati and Ain, introduced  a new batik world to my partner and I . What I thought as just some outdated craft in making clothes is actually a detailed art with centuries of history. It has influences from Chinese, Indian, Dutch and other cultures, which periodically have a major influence in the South-East Asia region over the past millennia. Every fabric has a story to tell and a culture to teach.

SAMSUNG CSCUsing each batik fabric, one can tailor into fashionable apparel according to one’s needs. Kiah’s Gallery is retailer of Batik art as well as customizer of batik wear. Their passion to revive the dying batik art propelled them to share with the public, using dedicated craftwork and skillful hands into an fashionable wear one can put on their body.

SAMSUNG CSC SAMSUNG CSC SAMSUNG CSCEvery batik fabric is an delicate piece of art. The fine prints as well as the details of every step can be observed on the fabric itself.

SAMSUNG CSCSAMSUNG CSCAt Kiah’s Gallery, the owners have prepared many fashion wear based on the batik fabric. Styles similar to Chinese, Arabic, African and modern wear can be found in Kiah’s Gallery. Each batik fabric can be bought from $35 onwards, while each fashion artwear can be had from $100 onwards.

If you are interested to find out more, you can visit Kiah’s Gallery @ 71B Sultan Gate in Kampong Glam. 71 sultan gate

Opening of Malaysia Agrobazaar outlet in Kampong Glam

http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/pm-lee-and-pm-najib-open/1332710.html

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong says the friendship between Singapore and Malaysia needs to be continually nurtured and tended to. Speaking at the opening of the Agrobazaar Malaysia outlet on Wednesday (Aug 27), Mr Lee said this will ensure that success will blossom along the way.

The outlet, located in Sultan Gate off Beach Road, is an agricultural-based business that promotes Malaysian fruit and products to the overseas market. Mr Lee said the Agrobazaar is one example of what cooperation between Singapore and Malaysia can deliver, as both countries move their ties forward. He also said the Agrobazaar is “something more than food” and reflects the close economic ties between the two countries, as well as their shared culture and long friendship.

Mr Lee also said he looks forward to deeper interactions between the people of Singapore and Malaysia in the coming years. The building of the Rapid Transit System (RTS) link between Johor Bahru and Singapore, as well as the high-speed rail between Kuala Lumpur and Singapore, are expected to improve the flow of goods and people across borders.

However, Mr Lee said that with such close interactions between the two countries, issues can be expected to arise from time to time.

“But I believe if we keep the lines of communication open, not just between the leaders, but also between ministers and senior officials and their counterparts, then we can manage anything which comes along, and this is the way to maintain and enhance mutual understanding, trust and respect, and continue to make progress on existing as well as new areas of cooperation,” Mr Lee said.

Prime Minister Najib Razak also said the the Agrobazaar is a testament to the strong and enduring relationship between Singapore and Malaysia. He explained that the Agrobazaar is a launch pad for Malaysian producers to access new international markets. “Yes, we have historic cities; yes, we have idyllic beaches and of course, we have the twin towers, but our rambutan and mangosteen, and above all – durian, really pull in the crowds,” he said.

Mr Najib also presented Prime Minister Lee with a basket of musang king durians and an oil painting of them enjoying the fruit during Mr Lee’s recent visit to Malaysia.

A fifth of Malaysia’s agrofood products, worth more than US$1 billion, is exported to Singapore annually. Mr Najib is confident that the numbers will grow, based on the good cooperation at the Agrobazaar.

During Mr Najib’s visit in Singapore, he also took the opportunity to see the Singapore Sports Hub – one of the country’s newest developments. Mr Najib posted a photo on Facebook, saying “Malaysia and Singapore have always enjoyed a healthy competitive spirit when it comes to football and we just couldn’t resist kicking a ball around”.