Remembering the forgotten 'houseboys' of colonial times

Tristan Cai's exhibition features mostly digitally manipulated archival images of British people and their servants from the 1850s to 1930s, including two triptychs (left). Also on display are large rubber stamps (below) with the imprint of the manip
Tristan Cai's exhibition features mostly digitally manipulated archival images of British people and their servants from the 1850s to 1930s, including two triptychs (above). Also on display are large rubber stamps with the imprint of the manipulated images.PHOTO: DECK, JOSEPH CHUA
Tristan Cai's exhibition features mostly digitally manipulated archival images of British people and their servants from the 1850s to 1930s, including two triptychs (left). Also on display are large rubber stamps (below) with the imprint of the manip
Tristan Cai's exhibition features mostly digitally manipulated archival images of British people and their servants from the 1850s to 1930s, including two triptychs. Also on display are large rubber stamps (above) with the imprint of the manipulated images.PHOTO: DECK, JOSEPH CHUA

An exhibition at the Deck arts space in Prinsep Street sheds light on a lesser-known aspect of Singapore's history - the servitude of "houseboys" in the colonial era.
 

The artworks by Singaporean artist Tristan Cai are mostly digitally manipulated archival images of British people and their servants from the 1850s to 1930s.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 17, 2019, with the headline 'Remembering the forgotten 'houseboys' of colonial times'. Print Edition | Subscribe