Culture

Visitors at the National Gallery of Singapore, 2015. (SPH Media)

This is what Nanyang art looks like

Following up on his article tracing the origins of Nanyang art and its influence in Southeast Asia, Singapore Chinese Cultural Centre CEO Low Sze Wee explains the characteristics of Nanyang art, highlighting the unique integration of Chinese and Western art in their compositions.
People buy Lunar New Year decorations in Hong Kong, China, on 9 January 2023 for the upcoming Year of the Rabbit. (Peter Parks/AFP)

Not sweating the small stuff: Blessings for a happy Chinese New Year

Recalling a Chinese New Year feast where he was ruffled by feelings of injustice, cultural historian Cheng Pei-kai returns to equanimity with the wise words a friend gifted him: stay true to the values of the Chinese heart and mind, and days of peace and simple joys can unfold all through the year.
A yellow Wedelia prostrata flower. (Photo: Alpsdake/Licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0)

Every plant a medicine: Hiking in Hong Kong [Part 5]

In the fifth of a six-part series on hiking in Hong Kong, cultural historian Cheng Pei-kai shares the wonders of Hong Kong’s hiking trails. With the nagging feeling that the city’s development is slowly encroaching on nature’s bounty, Cheng traces the sights and sounds on a stroll on the beach in Wu Kai Sha, discovering plants of beauty with medicinal properties too.
The Eight Immortals crossing the sea. (Project Gutenberg/Wikimedia)

Escaping the city to join the Eight Immortals: Hiking in Hong Kong [Part 4]

In the fourth of a six-part series on hiking in Hong Kong, cultural historian Cheng Pei-kai shares the wonders of Hong Kong’s hiking trails. This time he stays closer to home, in his neighbourhood of Wu Kai Sha. From his lookout point, he can make out Pat Sin Leng, the Ridge of the Eight Immortals. If he heads to the beach, he can hear the gently lapping waves or dabble in village life under a lush canopy.
The natural landscape of Kadoorie Farm and Botanic Garden in Hong Kong. (iStock)

The allure of youth on the mountain trails: Hiking in Hong Kong [Part 3]

In the third of a six-part series on hiking in Hong Kong, cultural historian Cheng Pei-kai shares the wonders of Hong Kong’s hiking trails. This time, the vibrant colours of flora and fauna at Kadoorie Farm and Botanic Garden revive the spirits.
The author on one of his hiking trips to the Dragon's Back, a mountain ridge in Hong Kong. (Photo provided by Cheng Pei-kai)

Seeing California from Hong Kong's shores: Hiking in Hong Kong [Part 2]

In the second of a six-part series on hiking in Hong Kong, cultural historian Cheng Pei-kai shares the wonders of Hong Kong’s hiking trails. Even in the foggiest of weathers, with a little imagination, the beauty of Hong Kong’s mountains and seas are a sight to behold.
Diners eat in a restaurant in Guangzhou city's Tianhe district in China's southern Guangdong province on 1 December 2022. (CNS/AFP)

Why we eat alone

In urban cities, from Singapore to Beijing to Shanghai, eating alone is increasingly embraced, even if it seems to go against human instinct or some food cultures of communal dining. The pandemic has changed some nuances, but the essence of having a cuppa with yourself, nourishing mind and palate, is here to stay.
A little girl touches the lights of a Christmas tree in Seville on 17 December 2022. (Cristina Quicler/AFP)

The cultivation of Christmas trees

Former journalist Lim Jen Erh writes of Christmas traditions and the spirit of the season, and the little things that make us happy amid the chaos of the rest of the year. Perhaps it is good to remind ourselves that we also deserve cultivating.
Hong Kongers have beautiful bays, mountains and seas to discover, right in their own backyard. (iStock)

Hong Kongers are fortunate people: Hiking in Hong Kong [Part 1]

In the first of a six-part series on hiking in Hong Kong, cultural historian Cheng Pei-kai shares the wonders of Hong Kong’s hiking trails. Hong Kong’s known as a shopping paradise, but go off the beaten track and there’s plenty more to discover.