Shining a light on the traditional art of lantern-making by hand

Mr Jimm Wong with a completed lantern he crafted. A heritage enthusiast with a keen interest in Chinese history and culture, he has been making lanterns since 2008. ST PHOTO: JOEL CHAN
Mr Jimm Wong with a completed lantern he crafted. A heritage enthusiast with a keen interest in Chinese history and culture, he has been making lanterns since 2008. ST PHOTO: JOEL CHAN

Chinese lantern-maker Jimm Wong, 66, has received an unusual request from a Singaporean Peranakan Christian family - to produce a pair of lanterns with drawings of Jesus, depicted with "Chinese features", for the entrance to their home.

Entryway lanterns traditionally reflect the surname of the family and the hometown of the occupants' ancestors. Folklore and legends such as the Eight Immortals, as well as deities, tigers and dragons are also incorporated into the lantern's facade.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 20, 2020, with the headline 'Shining a light on the traditional art of lantern-making by hand'. Subscribe