Guest Book

Thank you for visiting this weblog, if you have any queries or comment, please leave a note here.

Kent Neo

  • Yip Wai Hong // Jul 14th 2006 at 9:14 am (edit)

    I read about your work in the Straits Times today and feel very grateful that you had started this very worthy project. I wish you strength and perserverence to continue with the good work so people like us can start to understand where we and our ancestors come from. thank you.

  • Cleo // Jul 14th 2006 at 2:19 pm (edit)

    hi, read about you in the ST. would like to complement you on your efforts. Thanks!

  • Jonathan // Jul 14th 2006 at 10:39 pm (edit)

    hi, i saw the url of the website in the papers today
    and have decided to drop in to take a look.
    i am perhaps what some may consider as an english-speaking
    young singaporean, whose knowledge of chinese culture is almost close to zero. but i am really heartened that someone has the civic consciousness to start a project like this and reach out to singaporeans with little inkling about culture, save those given through mass media and globalization.

    kudos to your team
    and i wish u all the best!

    will definitely be visiting this site more often.

  • andyc008 // Jul 15th 2006 at 5:35 pm (edit)

    Hi Kent, if you don’t mind, I guess we are keen to join in and help you in search and preserving the heritage buildings here in Singapore….We need to preserve our roots…

  • kentneo // Jul 17th 2006 at 9:32 pm (edit)

    Dear supporters,

    Thank you all for your kind words. I am at the moment still trying to figure out if there are any old Chinese architecture in Singapore that I have missed out. If you or your friends know of any old beautiful Chinese temple or house, please let me know. Cheers!

  • Kenji // Jul 18th 2006 at 12:17 am (edit)

    Hi, do go down to Wei Zhen Temple when free. It will be demolish by 15th Aug,according to the caretaker. Thanks.

  • zhenpeng // Jul 18th 2006 at 11:46 pm (edit)

    Hi kent,
    I read the newspaper last friday and chance upon you and this link. Decide to drop by and take a look. Have not finished clicking all the sublinks. But one thing I would one to say is this blog is beautifully well done. You could proably publish a book on this or submit a thesis of this topic for publication. I also want to complement your effort to start something like this. Your passsionated effort to preserve such chinese heritage in such circumstance in time, touched me to heart. If I would the President, I would not hesitate to bestow you,an ordiary person with great forsight, the Cultural Medallion. Serioully!

    By the way u could uploaded more pic, espcially coloured one. Also, as feedback, I think some of the pic could not be displayed, please check. Also, some of the text are too small or does not contrast well with the background;like those response and comment. quite stranining to the eye. no offence mean

    Also i would like to help out in your effort to preserve such heritage. I dont know how you define what is old temple and so on, but i think probably quite many you missed out. I lived in the south-west district and am quite familar with these temples over here. When I am free I might send u more details. So in the mean time watch out for my presence in such stuff.

    and all the best to you..and don give up

  • Thanneermalai L // Jul 19th 2006 at 9:28 am (edit)

    Hi Kent,

    I read about you in the ST last week and would like to congratulate you on your efforts. You are doing a great job documenting the temples and other Chinese architecture. I do hope more of these structures could be preserved – otherwise we will end up looking like any metropolis in the world that is devoid of culture.

  • kentneo // Jul 19th 2006 at 3:10 pm (edit)

    Hi Zhenpng & Than,

    Thx for all your kind words. Actually, I enjoy doing field work, visiting beautiful buildings that I would otherwise not thought have existed. When you do something you really feel for, it will not feel like an obligation or a duty, a very sound advice given to me by a professor in Adelaide.
    A city must have a soul, without some remnants of the past, we become amnesiac, constantly looking for things to satisfy our immediate needs, forgetting that our grandfather’s fathers did have a vision for us when they built these buildings.
    I urge all readers here to appreciate and understand the lessons that surround all these old buildings, regardless of the ethnic group they belong to. Many of the buildings have really sad past. I feel even sadder when they have been totally forgotten and ignored by descendants who cared nothing else but the profits that can be made by selling these inherited properties.
    To many, the past is irrelevant. To me, the past is something that I enjoy and will be so for many years to come.

  • kentneo // Jul 19th 2006 at 3:30 pm (edit)

    Hi Zhenpeng,

    The black and white photos I’ve put here is meant for nostalgia. As for the thumbnail images, you will need to have a proper setting in your comp as they could be blocked by your cookie controller. The number of images will increase if I had more volunteer photographers. I want more people to participate in the fortnightly fieldwork. Not unlike a visit to Chek Jawa, visiting old buildings will link you to another space that is beyond your everyday humdrum.

  • Andy Chua // Aug 6th 2006 at 12:26 pm (edit)

    Kent, I saw a chinese temple at the of Sims Drive. It was quite old and I wasn’t sure of it’s orgin. Could it be the Mun Sun Fook Tuck Chee temple at Sims Drive (previously Lorong 17)?

  • Andy Chua // Aug 6th 2006 at 12:28 pm (edit)

    Hong San See:
    This temple was originally built in honour of the Chinese God of Fortune. Building materials and statues of deities were imported from China when this monument was rebuilt in its present location within the River Valley District. Year of construction was dated back to 1913, according to the folks at the temple.

  • Andy Chua // Aug 6th 2006 at 12:33 pm (edit)

    It was gazetted as a national monument on 29 November 1974.

    In 1876 through the efforts of Tan Kim Ching (eldest son of Tan Tock Seng) and Tan Beng Swee, the institution know as Po Check Kiong was built in Magazine Road near Kampong Malacca (opposite the Ministry of Labour building) and on the bank of the Singapore River – one of the busiest commercial areas of early Singapore.

    Po Check Kiong served as the assembly Hall and Temple of the Tan clan. One part of the building is still used as a repository of ancestral tablets. Another section was once used as a Chinese School. There is a large reception room.

    All the wooden carvings and granite dragon pillars were imported from China and the architecture classical Southern Chinese. Singapore’s Chinese Temples were largely designed in this tradition.

    In the Temple are relics donated to the Temple and these include a bell and a drum; in an annex is a unique miniature marble pagoda – another special feature of this Temple. The Boddhisatva, Kuan Yin, is also installed in this Temple.
    Tan Si Chong Su:

    Tan Kim Tian and Tang Hong Keat were the first President and the Vice President respectively of this ancient institution which still stands today.

    Tan Siew Sin, a member of the Tan Clan, and Federal Minister of Finance when Singapore was part of Malaysia, unveiled a plaque to commemorate the renovation of the Temple in 1964. It’s located along 15 Magazine Road, built around 1878

  • pat ng // Oct 25th 2006 at 1:22 am (edit)

    hi , tremendous job ur doing !
    am an architect from mauritius
    i have been working on chinese architectural heritage in mauritius
    wd like to share views with you
    best regards
    pat

  • Kent Neo // Oct 25th 2006 at 11:27 am (edit)

    Hi pat, thks for your compliments. You can join Taoism-Singapore Yahoo group where everyone talks about Chinese heritage there. You will enjoy discussions from architecture to vanishing traditional folk customs/beliefs.
    See http://groups.yahoo.com/group/taoism-singapore

  • Donald Chang // Dec 17th 2006 at 11:54 am (edit)

    I have a Canon 30D and want to be a Volunteer photographers.

  • Neoh Kee Leng Nickson // Dec 17th 2006 at 4:07 pm (edit)

    Hello Kent,

    I read about your project on Lianhe Zaobao today, it’s indeed a meaningful project!

    I would like to join you as a volunteer photographer, as I myself also very keen to preserve chinese culture and traditional activities. I just held a photo exhibition namely “Our Cultural Heritage” at National Library on 1 – 7 Dec 2006, the exhibition featured chinese festival and culture, it’s in conjunction with Nanyang Neo Clan’s 75th anniversary. Please feel free to contact me.

  • seow lim // Dec 17th 2006 at 4:26 pm (edit)

    I also read about your project in LHYB today, very insipiring.

    I can be your volunteer photographer. However, I never own any digital camera, I am only a weekend conventional film photographer. I do 35mm film and 6×6cm medium and 4×5′ large format view camera photography, B&W and slides. I own an epson scanner for highest digital resolution, the process is slow, but I am enjoying it. So if u don’t mind using heritage cameras to shot heritage architectures, I would be glad to be part of your project.

  • seow lim // Dec 17th 2006 at 4:26 pm (edit)

    Oopps.. my website address should be
    http://www.geocities.com/boochap

  • kentneo // Dec 18th 2006 at 9:01 am (edit)

    Dear Donald, Nickson & Seow Lim

    Thank you for your support, I really needed photographers to help archive many of these crumbling buildings. I will be going to Penang this X’mas holiday to meetup a temple conservationist there, will visit a Unesco award Teochew Association building. You guys can join me if you want, I will be there for a week. Let’s start our project in January 2007! My email: rudolfin2@yahoo.com

  • Peter Chong // Dec 20th 2006 at 1:56 pm (edit)

    Hello Kent,
    Congratulations on your website. It must be interesting but half the fun of reading “About” and comments is gone as it is very difficult to read the comments with grey lettering on black background? And the fonts as so small. Even with Text set at Largest, it is almost impossible to read.

    Warmest regards,

    Peter

  • kentneo // Dec 20th 2006 at 9:29 pm (edit)

    Hi Peter,

    I’ve changed the look of the website following your comments, hope its ‘bigger & brighter’ now )

    Seasons greetings

  • Choon // Dec 22nd 2006 at 8:39 am (edit)

    I’m glad such a website was setup. Years ago, we were able to retrieve old temples photos from the NHB website but the little articles here add another dimenson to the photos. Back in my army days, I trekked past many old Chinese rural temples and is always drawn into the imagery of past rural spiritual lives of our Chinese ancestors here. I remember one near NTU with a huge courtyard and many in Tekong. Not sure what happen to them but one that definitely kanna demolished is the temple (which gives the name Temple Hill to he hill it was on) just outside old SAFTI. Will be great if we can preserve some memories of thse rural Chinese temples.

  • floridale86 // Feb 15th 2007 at 2:55 pm (edit)

    I chanced upon this site while looking up other stuffs.
    It’s so nice to know that there are some of us who are proud of our Chinese heritage and culture.
    I wish I had a camera earlier so I could have taken photos of the beautiful, old buildings and other things while in Singapore.
    Now, I’m glad that there are others in Singapore who shared your interests to preserve our Chinese cultures and heritage.
    I will come to this site whenever I can to check out what’s happening.
    Keep up the good work.

    HAPPY NEW YEAR to you and your loved ones.

    floridale86

  • Yip Yew Weng // Mar 1st 2007 at 1:39 am (edit)

    May i know is there any temple visit in the near future that i and my friends could join you? Thanks.

  • 17 responses to “Guest Book

    1. I visited a Buddhist temple outside Penang with a Chinese taxi driver who befriended me. His name was Tan Bu Chan, he was old enough to remember the Japanese occupation of the Island. We spent many hours together talking history and culture and gambling. One day he took me to an old Buddhist temple outside Penang, in the country. Tan and I were the only temple guests besides the 300 pit vipers that called the Temple home. The snakes were everywhere on the floor, tables, statues. There was never a pit viper more than six inches from me. Tan told me that the snakes were non-violent and that they arrived in the morning and left the temple at night. Does anyone remember the name of this small Buddhist temple circa 1968, or have period pictures.
      Thanks,
      Rob

    2. Hi Rob,

      You can find out more info about temples in Penang with this site (sounds like the snake temple) . http://www.asiaexplorers.com/penang_temples.htm

    3. Kentneo,
      Thanks much for the lead I believe the Snake Temple is Ban Kah Lan. When I went there in 4/68 as I remember it was a very simple building on a road in the jungle, so the exterior must have been renovated, The interior of the building is as I remember it, except for the interior furnishings. There were no bamboo hangers for the vipers, as they were everywhere literally, hundreds of snakes in the temple. I guess destruction of habitat is the reason they are so rare now. I could kick myself for not taking pictures then. BTW the highest building in Penang was no more than 4 stories in ’68’, or so it seemed. There must be old period pictures of the Temple out there some where, I’ll try to find them. That simple Chinese man Tan Bu Chan showed me the Way. What a blessing!

      Much thanks,
      Rob Neil

    4. South West Community Development Council is working with a six secondary schools on a pilot project- Ethnic Heritage @ South West and would like to seek your support on the information and images which you may have gathered on Chinese temples in South West District or that in general so that the students can be enriched with what your website has published. In fact, your rich resources could be exhibited or displayed in our event scheduled from 23 – 26 Aug at Singapore Discovery Centre (to be confirmed). Hope to hear from you. you may call me at 65519275 or my mobile: 97401792

    5. South West CDC has completed its pilot project of involving schools in cultural/heritage mapping, info about the outcome can be viewed via http://www.citizenpartner.org/heritage/map.jsp

    6. Hello

      Very interesting information! Thanks!

      G’night

    7. Cheow Leng Temple (Heng Hwa temple) in Yishun will go into retreat from 24 to 28 October.

      Ceremonies will begin on the 24 with the retreat officially starting at 3pm. This is the main activity that should not be missed.

      The most interesting part will be on (finish) on the 28 around 3am. Most people will be there waiting from mid night onward. Try not to miss them – once in a life time.

      In between activities will go on with friends and followers from other temples visiting. There will be several temples visiting (and paying respect) on the 3rd day (26th October about noon). Something special not to be missed I believe.

    8. Hi, is there any one who can provide me with more details and photos of Loyang tua Pek kong Temple? I am currently working on a project related to the temple and I need more of the data.

    9. Hi! I made a Google Earth location map (kmz file) with all the buildings on your “List of Surviving Chinese architecture in Singapore ” entry. Please contact me if you’d like a copy to host here as a google map (since Streetdirectory is a bit sad at the moment…)

    10. Nice site, great pictures and lots of useful information

    11. Hello,

      First of all let me say a big thank you to Kent Neo for all the hard work he has put into his website and for his efforts in helping to conserve Singapore’s Chinese architectural legacy.

      I am writing a book about the Singapore shophouse and am looking for images of so-called River House on Clarke Quay, formerly the home of Tan Yeok Nee. Best of all would be archival images or photos from before any restoration work was carried out; second best would be images from before Indochine got their hands on the building!

      Kent – there is a very nice photo of the building on you website which answers to the second description (i.e. pre-Indochine)? Anymore where these came from that you would be willing to let me have look at, perhaps with a view to publication in my forthcoming book?

      Hope to hear from someone!

      Julian

    12. Dear Kent Neo,

      I was doing some research work on Tua Pek Kong which leads me to your blog. As I scroll down to reach this comment page, I saw that you recommended a page I wrote, http://www.asiaexplorers.com/penang_temples.htm. That page now has a new URL, http://www.penang-traveltips.com/chinese-temples.htm

      Well, anyway, I have just done my documentation on the Hokkien and Cantonese Tua Pek Kong temples in Penang, which you can now read at:

      http://www.penang-traveltips.com/cantonese-tuapekkong-temple.htm
      http://www.penang-traveltips.com/hock-teik-cheng-sin-temple.htm

      Regarding the Snake Temple, there are far fewer snakes there now.

    13. Hi Tim,

      I will update my links page with your new link. You are doing a far better job than I in documenting heritage buildings around asia. If you are coming to Singapore, do let me know, perhaps I can show you some of the lesser known temples & churches. I have the pleasure of visiting both the Tua Pek Kong temples you have included in your website. Yeow Wooi who was the restoration consultant in-charge, brought a few of us to the yet-to-complete restoration of the Tua Pek Kong Temple a few years ago. Wonder if you have been to the old Taoist temple above Kek Lok See, worth exploring. I’ve not been there myself.

    14. Nice…thats a hidden collection, never thought there would be such a rich culture in Singapore

    15. Hi Kent,

      I read about you in the ST last week and would like to congratulate you on your efforts. You are doing a great job documenting the temples and other Chinese architecture. I do hope more of these structures could be preserved – otherwise we will end up looking like any metropolis in the world that is devoid of culture.

    16. Tamalia Alisjahbana

      Dear Kentneo,
      What interesting and well written information about Hokkien architecture especially as regards Chinese temples in Singapore. I work for JEFORAH which is an endowment fund that is working together with the city government of Jakarta for the revitalization and restoration of the Old Town historic section of Jakarta. We have over 70 old Chinese temples there with the oldest dating back to the 1690s. There are also many old mosques and Dutch East India Company buildings and structures here. Frankly, I know very little about Chinese temples and Chinese temple architecture in this part of the world but I am learning and I was so terribly pleased to come across your website. If you ever happen to find yourself in Jakarta please, do let me know as I would love to take you around to some of the old Chinese temples here and hear your opinion about the architecture and symbolism. Most of the Chinese who lived in Jakarta were Hokkien speaking so I am sure that most of the temple architecture must also be Hokkien but it is fascinating to know that later restorations may have included architectural influences of other groups. Have you written a book about Hokkien temple architecture in Singapore and also the symbolism of the ornamentation? If not can you recommend any other book that I might read about that?
      Many kind wishes,
      Tamalia Alisjahbana

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