There was free admission to the Peranakan Museum including the special exhibit 'Ramayana Revisited: A Tale of Love and Adventure' last weekend, so having nothing better to do, we went down for a look.
The exhibition features the epic and its narration in visual, performing and literary art forms of South and Southeast Asia. The story of Ramayana is told through shadow puppets, paintings and photographs of ancient monuments from South and Southeast Asia, relaying the message of idealism and the triumph of good over evil.
The exhibition is divided into seven sections based on the seven chapters of the epic. Here is the column letting me know I'm at Chapter 4:
A large part of the exhibition features shadow puppets.
Below are contemporary shadow puppets specially commissioned by the museum from the puppeteer I Wayan Nartha in 1996. Made from buffalo hide and decorated with Chinese inks and gold leaf, it depicts the death of the orge Kumbhakarna.
Shadow puppet of Lakshmana, the loyal brother of Rama who accompanied him during his 14 year exile.
Leather shadow puppets of Rama and his son, Hanuman, from a former incarnation.
Hanuman, a leather puppet from Andhra Pradesh, showing the unique characteristic of a combination of profile and frontal view.
A painting depicting Rama, Lakshmana, and their army of monkeys on their way to the palace of Ravana to rescue Sita, who has been abducted by the king of Lanka.
And this caught my eye. Nagalinga, a special form of "snake-lingam", worshipped by childless couples in the hope of getting blessed with a child.
There are various human and non-human masks on display as well and the stories are rather interesting, so if you do not have anything interesting to do over the weekend, why not pop by for a look? Special guided tours in English are on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 12.30pm. The exhibition will be on till 22 August 2010.