Conference Proceedings

“They will not suffer a church more beautiful than their own”: the Chinese as patrons of ecclesiastical architecture in early twentieth-century Singapore

Soon-Tzu Speechley, Kang Shua Yeo, Subin Xu (ed.), Nobuo Aoki (ed.), Bébio Vieira Amaro (ed.)

East Asian Architecture in Globalization: Values, Inheritance and Dissemination | Springer Nature | Published : 2021

Abstract

This paper traces Chinese patronage of church architecture in early twentieth-century Singapore through a discussion of three churches built or renovated during this period. In the early twentieth century, Singapore’s Chinese community became significant patrons of ecclesiastical architecture. As Chinese congregations grew, so too did their spatial needs. Donations from this mercantile community ensured that their churches were lavish monuments, tangible symbols of piety, wealth, and patronage. These churches are also monuments to an Asian diaspora negotiating their Western faith, and expressing their religious affiliations through architecture. The influence of French missionaries is discer..

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