Changi Airport T4 to highlight Peranakan culture in immersive, heritage experience

Changi Airport T4 to highlight Peranakan culture in immersive, heritage experience
Heritage Zone in transit area that presents colourful tradition of Peranakan culture and passengers get to enjoy a special performance displayed on the Peranakan facade. A 10 X 6m LED screen transforms two shophouse bays into a digital theatre stage, to present a six-minute cultural mini-theatre show, Peranakan Love Story. Photo: Koh Mui Fong/TODAY
Published: 6:10 PM, July 25, 2017
Updated: 10:21 PM, July 25, 2017

SINGAPORE — Peranakan culture will take centrestage at the new Changi Airport Terminal 4 (T4) heritage zone, where passengers will be treated to art and a short film showcasing the culture.

The Heritage Zone in the departure transit area pays tribute to the evolution of Peranakan Heritage from the 1880s to the 1950s, and features an art façade replicating shophouses similar to those in Katong and Chinatown.

On the three-storey façade is a 10m-by-6m LED screen spanning two shophouses, on which a six-minute theatrical performance of a Peranakan Love Story set in 1930s Singapore will play.

Developed in collaboration with Singaporean composer and artiste Dick Lee, Peranakan Love Story narrates an unlikely romance between two young musicians living next to each other, and boasts a Singaporean cast including acting veterans Adrian Pang, Koh Chieng Mun, Amy Cheng and Benjamin Kheng. The main act is set to the song Bunga Sayang, also composed by Lee.

On why he chose a love story, Lee said: “The most famous image of the Peranakan culture is the wedding, and the wedding procession is something very beautiful and very uniquely Peranakan.”

He added: “Peranakan culture is also very famous for their plays, which showcases their matriarchal societies, where the women are very powerful. It’s a very classical situation where a matchmaker tries to put couples together and I thought why not do a Romeo and Juliet type story with two neighbours.”

The Peranakan facade also incorporates a covered five-foot wide veranda with adjoining units housing local retail and F&B brands like Bee Cheng Hiang, Bengawan Solo, Curry Times, Eu Yan Sang and Heavenly Wang Café.

Ms Poh Li San, Vice President, T4 Programme Management Office, said the LED screens are meant to “engage passengers on a deeper level” as they wait for their flights or security screening, and “get a deeper understanding of local culture and local heritage, particularly our Peranakan culture”.

The new terminal will be open to the public from August 7 to 20 for a T4 Open House and all 200,000 tickets have been snapped up.