Spaces of the Dead: A Case from the Living

$40.00 SGD

edited by Kevin YL Tan

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Seen primarily as final resting places, cemeteries are increasingly under threat from urban redevelopment in land-scarce Singapore. Regarded as ‘excess space’ by state planners, and as ‘taboo places’ by the local populace, the rich historical and cultural heritage of our cemeteries have remained largely unappreciated and hidden.

Today, there are about less than a dozen cemeteries left in Singapore. With the recent exhumation of major cemeteries like Bidadari Cemetery and Kong How Shua Cemetery, concerns have been raised about the status of cemeteries in Singapore.

Spaces of the Dead: A Case from the Living
brings together various authors concerned with the need for conservation of cemeteries in Singapore. This book showcases cemeteries as spaces of historical, architectural and social merit through the writings and photo-journals of the authors. We hope it will serve as an initial step in generating greater interest in and awareness of Singapore’s cemeteries.

About the Editor

Kevin YL Tan is Adjunct Professor at the Faculty of Law, National University of Singapore and at the S Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Nanyang Technological University. He is the author and editor of over 25 books on law, history and politics. He was President of the Singapore Heritage Society from 2001 to 2011.



• Remembering Bidadari: The Bidadari Memorial Park – Kevin YL Tan
• The Old Jewish Cemeteries – Kevin YL Tan
• Kwong Hou Sua: The Last Teochew Cemetery in Singapore – Hui Yew-Foong


Fort Canning: An Early Singapore Cemetery – John Miksic
• The Burials of Roman Catholics in Pre-War Singapore – Clement Liew
Bukit Brown: A Garden of History & Heritage – Elizabeth McKenzie
• Auspicious Images of Bukit Brown
• Symbolic Language of Bukit Brown
• Myths & Legends Set in Stone
• The Indian Guards: Representing Loyalty & Security
• Qing Ming Festival: The Festival of Tombs
• Decorative Tiles 

Bukit Brown: Nature in an Old Cemetery – Ho Hua Chew, with photographs by Jimmy Chew

The Bidadari Christian Cemetery – Sue Williams, with research & photographs by Sally Oh Poh Wah, Liesel Strauss & Scottie Perry
• An Affable Auctioneer
• A Bust of Distinction
• ‘What’s in a Name?’
• ‘The Act of Order to a Peopled Kingdom’
• ‘Many a time and oft in the Rialto...'
• The Hudsons – A Family Affair
• Victims of the Maria Hertogh Riots: Charles Joseph Ryan & Francis Pereira
• The Modest Grave of Lim Boon Keng – Kevin YL Tan
• A Neighbouring Estate
• Ode to Bidadari – Goh Si Guim 

Singapore’s ‘Little Japan’ and its Japanese Cemetery – Kevin Blackburn & Edmund Lim
Keramats – Johannes Widodo
• A German ‘Keramat’? The Story of the White Girl of Pulau Ubin – Ho Choon Hiong & Michael Kam

More than Meets the Eye: Remembering the War Dead in Singapore – Wan Meng Hao
• The Lim Bo Seng Grave & Memorial – Kevin YL Tan & Wan Meng Hao 


The Remains of the Dead: Spatial Politics of Nation-Building in Post-War Singapore – Tan Boon Hui & Brenda SA Yeoh
Bones of Contention: Chinese Burial Grounds in Colonial and post-Colonial Singapore – Brenda SA Yeoh

• • •

ISBN: 978-981-08-8391-1
Published: 2011
Dimension: 239mm x 228mm
Extent: 308
Finish: Hardback

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