活動/社區空間 Activity / Community Space:
二零二二年五月，新加坡美術館，新加坡 | May 2022, Singapore Art Museum, Singapore
A collaborative space for the Singaporean Hakka community
SingHAKKApura is a collaborative space for the Hakka community in Singapore to meet, discuss and exchange. Residing in the Singapore Art Museum, SingHAKKApura highlights the role of the Hakka language in the (re)shaping of the Hakka community, identity and culture in Singapore. During the one month period in May 2022, Hakkas in Singapore hold various activities in SingHAKKApura. The community space accumulates and evolves with the collective effort of collaborators, participants and visitors.
The project is informed by qualitative discussions with Hakkas in Singapore: focus groups, families of three generations, Hakka clan associations, and related organisations, which were conducted in the first half of the residency at the Singapore Art Museum.
Although Hakka is a significant minority among the Chinese Singaporeans, the usage of the Hakka language has rapidly diminished within decades and is rarely heard in everyday life. It is all too common to see Singaporeans of Hakka ancestry not speaking the language or even identifying with the heritage. As a minority, Hakkas have had a tendency to speak other (Chinese) languages except with their families and close circles, which hinders Hakkas to identify one another. However, it is the Singapore’s policies of promoting English and Mandarin among the Chinese, and eradicating Hakkas and other Chinese languages that are vital to the drastic demise of the Hakka language.
The hiddenness and alienation of the Hakka identity and language, and the pity and frustration of Hakkas in Singapore prompt the creation of SingHAKKApura.
Six activities hosted by Hakkas in Singapore, also collaborators of SingHAKKApura, took place at the weekends during the one month period:
(i) Yellow Wine Making (by Tsai Song Ngit): Make Hakka yellow wine, which will be ready in the Finale, the last weekend of SingHAKKApura;
(ii) Hakka Mahjong (by Fiona Chee): Play Singaporean mahjong;
(iii) Thunder Tea Rice Cooking (by Tsai Song Ngit): Cook thunder tea rice (Luicha), a signature Hakka dish in Singapore;
(iv) Language Rojak (by Chok Kho Chiap & Vincent Yang): Speak, teach and learn Hakka and other marginalised Chinese languages in Singapore by setting up one table for each language for its exchange;
(v) Hakkaoke (by Lee Yong Tick): Sing and appreciate Hakka folk songs and modern songs;
(vi) Finale: Invite collaborators, previous participants and new visitors to come to the evolved space, meet and talk with one another alongside the now-ready Hakka yellow wine and other food cooked with the lees.
While the host(s) conduct the activities, they would simultaneously introduce Hakka vocabularies and sayings that are related to the activities. Collaborators and participants are encouraged to exchange the language during the activities, and put the Hakka words or knowledge they have learned on the walls of the space.
Rather than a static exhibition, the SingHAKKApura space is a constantly changing collaborative space for the Hakka community and people interested in Hakka to meet and exchange. While the space resembles a clan association, the major kind of organisation in Singapore that gather Hakkas of different origins, as well as Chinese ancestral hall where all kinds of communal activities take place, the space is also like a comfortable and versatile living room.
Essentially, the space of SingHAKKApura imagines collectively what a Hakka community in Singapore could be: What are to be retained and foregone in the Hakka identity in Singapore? Does / should the Hakka language play a role in this process? If yes, how? If no, how come? Can a localised (Singaporeanised) Hakka culture and identity be possible? Does it take a community, an organisation, or a socio-political movement to reestablish this Hakka identity?
Before the first activity, the space began with lanterns of Chinese and other ethnicities found in Singapore, as well as a horizontal scroll and a couplet like those at the entrance of a Chinese house, laying a festive atmosphere. Over time, more furniture and decorations were added to the space, including a founding memorial plaque, a community rule board, a SingHAKKApura flag, and a reading corner with Hakka related books. Many furniture and decorations were scavenged on the streets.
Like the activities, the development of the space is participatory. Collaborators, participants and visitors are invited to contribute furniture and decorations for SingHAKKApura. They are also encouraged to put up Hakka vocabularies, sayings and knowledge onto the walls, especially those from the activities. The Hakka map collects names of places in Singapore specifically used by the Hakkas, before the names were standardised by the government in the 70s.
The project was executed at Singapore Art Museum’s Community & Education Residency Programme.
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主辦 Presented by:
新加坡美術館 Singapore Art Museum
活動（釀黃酒、煮擂茶）Activity (Hakka yellow wine making & thunder tea rice cooking):
蔡嫦月 Chai Song Ngit
活動 （打麻將） Activity (Mahjong):
徐丽虹 Fiona Chee
活動（語言羅惹）Activity (Language Rojak）:
卓可捷 Chok Kho Chiap
楊宏武 Victor Yang
李榮德 Lee Yong Tick
高絲雨 May Gao
劉文超 Liu Wen Chao
張啟聰 Cheung Kai Chung
傢俱及物料 Furniture and materials:
梁玉麗 Leung Yuk Lai
范尚赐 (新加坡美術館) Andrea Fam (Singapore Art Museum)
范尚赐 (新加坡美術館) Andrea Fam (Singapore Art Museum)
高絲雨 May Gao
朱子燕 (新加坡美術館) Chu Chu Yuan (Singapore Art Museum)
劉嘉慧 Pamela Low
吳貴英 Ng Gui Yen
劉德明 Nicholas Low
胡建銀 Foh Keng Yin
羅麗文 Loh Lih Woon
羅育祥 Loh York Siong
余福明 Gerard Yee
卓瑾倪 Ginny Toh
范尚赐 Andrea Fam
高中美 May Fam, née Kao
范尚瑾 Katherine Sebastian
山姆 Samuel Tournoff
范聖清 Chiara Sebastian
范聖爱 Isabella Sebastian
范聖文 Sophia Sebastian
吳文昌 Woo Boon Chong
羅偉良 Loh Wee Leong
黃禮華 Huang Li Hua
華秀 Hua Xiu
卓可立 Chok Kho Chiap
潘秀玉 Yoshie Phua
卓思萱 Chok Si Xuan
何謙誠 Ivan Ho
劉思偉 Low Sze Wee
小彭客家麵 Pang’s Hakka Noodle
扑泫泯 (新加坡美術館) Lisa Park (Singapore Art Museum)
南洋客屬總會 Nanyang Hakka Federation
新加坡華族文化中心 Singapore Chinese Culture Centre
新加坡永定會館 Singapore Eng Teng Association