Sunday, August 05, 2012

Read 《庙在‧妙哉》

《入墓三分》 ,《庙在‧妙哉》 

Last Sunday, I felt very thankful and grateful to be given two gifts at a book launch event titled 《入墓三分,一脉香承》--华人传统建筑文化系列活动:与武吉布朗坟山及本地庙宇的亲密接触
Chinese Traditional Architecural Culture Series : Close encounters with Bukit Brown and Local Temples. The two gifts were the two books that were being launched at the event.

I have read one of the books, 《入墓三分》, within two hours last weekend, and have attempted to write my impression of it in this post: Book launch event:《入墓三分,一脉香承》. Written in Chinese, it is an accessible and easy-to-read book for anyone who would like an introduction to the history and interesting anecdotes of the Bukit Brown Cemetery.

Over a course of the past week, I have read 《庙在‧妙哉》intermittently. This is a very accessible book to read for any novice who would like to be more appreciative of the many architectural features that are found in Chinese temples in Singapore. I am pretty impressed by the authors' creativity and good sense of humour in making the subject of architectural features of Chinese temples and the symbolism behind these features so interesting. For example, the authors used the heading of "Party of Flowers and Fruits" to captivate readers to read about the various flowers that can be commonly seen as architectural designs in Chinese temples in Singapore.

I appreciate that《庙在‧妙哉》was written in a language that is intended to be accessible to youths. The authors has taken care and effort to write in a way that young readers can easily relate to. I like the numerous photographs that the authors have inserted in the book to illustrate the various concepts and ideas. Furthermore, the materials that are found in this book have been made accessible through social media platforms such as Facebook and blog.

Through reading this book, I have learnt to differentiate a motif of a peacock from a motif of a phoenix if I were to see such motifs in a Chinese temple. I have also learnt the symbolism behind the various motifs that can be found in Chinese temples. For example, a motif of a guava symbolizes abundance.

If you are a novice who would like to make sense of the motifs and architectural designs that are found in Chinese temples and you can read Chinese, this is a book to consider.

Please find more information regarding the two books below:


ISBN: 978-981-07-2976-9

ISBN: 978-981-07-2838-0

Please contact Ngee Ann Poly, School of Humanities and Social Sciences for more information on the two books.

For your convenience, here are the contact details:

School of Humanities and Social Sciences Ngee Ann Polytechnic
Block 52 #04-01 535 Clementi Road
Singapore 599 489
 Email address:
General Enquiries: (+65) 6460 8577
Fax Enquiries: (+65) 6875 1469

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