Baba Nyonya Screen | Fir

The Nyonya group is the nobles of the Nanyang society in the fifteenth century. They are lofty, prominent in family, and knowledgeable. They have captured most of the resources of society. There is a system, which is different from civilians to highlight the sense of superiority of the ethnic group, and eventually forms the current Malaysia’s unique Baba Nyonya culture.              

Baba Nyonya architecture integrates Chinese tradition and European Baroque style. The main style is gorgeous, atmospheric and shiny, so the furniture used is relatively noble and stable. As large families, they have spacious living space, so the screen can be seen everywhere at home. Sometimes it is installed on both sides of the entrance of the entrance hall and the living room, creating a sense of space without affecting the width of the field of vision. Establish a privacy environment. Interestingly, Single Nyonya was disciplined that she could not to be seen by any men. Whenever a guest visited or the matchmaker visits, many young Nyonya would be curious to hide behind the screen and secretly watch the guys in the living room to judge his handsomness. Now that she has become a scene in the folding screen without being awared.

This group of Nyonya folding screen has a typical Teocheow woodcarving characteristics. It is called “black gold” furniture, which is to stick gold foil on black wood to produce a gorgeous and luxurious sense of nobleness. There are two sets of screens, which can become door screens. They have the same style and a bit different in details. The overall can be appreciated from three aspects: artistic characteristics, layout structure, and subject matter content. In short, artistic features are the proportion of layout and full composition; there are diverse themes and rich content; With these comprehensive cognitions, the next viewing can be deepened.       

The screen is first supported by the base. The base is roughly hollowed out and tangled the pattern, but the left and right railings have a lion town guarding, reflecting the mighty wind. Next, focus on the screen part, its layout is clear and the structure is balanced. From the perspective of upper and lower, inside and outside, or size, it can be found that the layout is based on one point, and the surrounding structures show the same area and design according to symmetrical aesthetics. For example, the screen is divided into five layers, the third layer is the middle axis, and the second and fourth layers form a combination with the same structure and the middle shaft. The first and fifth layers together form another structure The rigorous arrangement has a balance of yin and yang, the beauty of four levels, and it also reflects the prestigious nobleness.       

In terms of theme content, the level of the same structure has the same theme, which can be divided into flowers, birds, beasts, and characters. The third layer of the central axis occupies the largest space. The middle hollow carving “plum blossom magpie” is carved with symmetrical “wealth and peace” on the left and right to form a peace and joy. Nyonya’s screen has two positive and negative sides. The hollow process makes these patterns seemed to have known each other no matter from which side, and there is a sense of strangeness in the mirror. Then, the left and right squares of the second and fourth layers are mainly relief patterns. The middle decoration is hollowed out. It is the fable story of four different groups of characters on the front. You can feel a different perspective experience when you enter and exit. Finally, the first and fifth floor, the structure is the left and right vertical rectangular, the middle horizontal square, the horizontal carving auspicious knot, the vertical carving flowers, and the carving Bogu, which enhances the overall sense of prosperity, and for this magnificent Nyonya The screen painting is perfect.