Tuesday, October 07, 2014

A visit to The Intan Museum

I was fortunate to be invited by the Bukit Brown community to visit Alvin Yapp's private living museum, The Intan. The story goes that Alvin paid his maiden visit to Bukit Brown recently and was guided by the Bukit Brown volunteers. He was so impressed by the rich heritage stories shared and wanted in turn to share his story with the Bukit Brown volunteers and thus invited us to visit his private museum to view his collection and have tea with him.

Founded in 2003, Intan, which means rose cut diamond in Malay, is a reflection of the multi-faceted aspects of Peranakan heritage and culture which is reflected in the artifacts and stories Alvin shared about being peranakan. His private museum tours is what he does part-time and he is a Director of Corporate Affairs for BusAds Pte Ltd, a family run business specialising in ads for buses, trains, aeroplanes and outdoor advertising.

Alvin Yapp holding court 

Staircase to the loft filled with tiffins and spittoon 

Peranakan wares 

Intan Museum has a lot of artifacts !
It was not the first time i met Alvin Yapp. I met him during a tour led by him for the Peranakan Museum's exhibition titled Auspicious Designs - Batik for Peranakan Altars. Alvin Yapp had over 7 years, accumulated 72 unique batik cloth (mostly from Java, Indonesia) that are used in Peranakan Altars and bequested this entire collection to the Peranakan Museum and named the Primary Donors as his parents, Matthew and Alice Yapp.  

How to book a visit
Intan is a private museum and its owner, Alvin Yapp supports charitable causes and conducts private tours to his house at 69 Joo Chiat Terrace during his free time subject to his availability.He can be reached via http://the-intan.com/2012/ . The museum won the 2011 Inaugural Museum Roundtable award for Overall Best Experience beating other bigger and more established museums. It's collection has also been showcase overseas.

Me and Alvin Yapp in front of his house

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