We will go behind-the-scenes at Say Tian Hng Buddha Shop, a forgotten shop that has been making Taoist effigies since 1896. (https://www.buddhashop.sg) We will learn the stories of these deities. Who were these ancient heroes? Who is the boy wonder who rides on Wind Fire Wheels? Who is the butcher turned saint? Who is the sabre-wielding warlord worshipped by cops and crooks alike? We will learn about the dying craft of effigy-making, one that uses secret blueprints, sandalwood ash dough, marble slabs, Thai gold leaves, bamboo sticks and wood from the camphor tree that grows to 1,000 years old. Some of you can even get your hands dirty if there is time. As we are a very small family business, we don't usually take visitors so this tour will be a rare experience.
I am an 87-year-old great-grandma who runs Singapore's last Taoist deity shop. This is where I worked for 70 years and raised 7 children. As I don't speak English, my grandsons Yong and Chong will be your guides and share about our family's story. I will conduct a demonstration of the art of effigy-making for you.
The shop is a working space filled from floor to ceiling with statues of Taoist effigies. You'll see our traditional tools and effigies in various stages of completion.
Where Gods Are Born