Thursday, July 15, 2021

Peranakan Art by Tan Gaik Hoon


Malaysian Tan Gaik Hoon may be a Teochew but she is passionate about all things Baba and Nyonya. And since she is turned-on on Art, merge the two and you get a kaleidoscopic riot of rich colors that speaks eloquently of Peranakan culture and heritage. 

Indeed, this is richly demonstrated through her acrylic paintings that are florid brushstrokes showcasing elaborate detail that are assiduously meticulous and rigorously precise. 

Tan was first introduced to Peranakan culture through its food. 

As a young child growing up in Bagan Serai in Perak, she recalls her late father bringing her to a roadside stall to get her "tai bak" (left), a Nyonya dessert.

And her late mother was into making kuih – and growing up, she would spend all her free time helping her make all sorts of sweet and savory desserts such as angku, kuih koci, bak chang, steamed yam cake and kuih talam

Even her hometown neighbor who prepared Nyonya food from time to time such as perut ikan and rempah udang would share them with her family – and so, she became even more familiar with Nyonya delicacies. 

These childhood experiences inspired her to begin a series of Nyonya kuih paintings and which then veered into everything Peranakan – and as they say, the rest is history.









I love her paintings – they represent a controlled and quiet explosion of lush vibrancy that morph into intricate and intimate depictions of Peranakan-themed artworks. Truly, I find them wondrously awesome! 

For any enquiries please go to her Facebook page, "Tan Gaik Hoon's Paintings”, and leave her a message. 

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