A Great Emporium

Singapore River, in front of the Asian Civilisations Museum Get Directions

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A Great Emporium

In the early 19th Century, the Singapore River was the heart of trade and activity. This work exemplifies the trade activities that took place along the river at the time. European traders, like those here, profitted from Singapore's trade, but it was the Chinese traders, like the 'towkay' holding an abacus, who generated the most wealth. Providing much needed labour to the trading industry were Chinese and Indian coolies, who usually came from the South-eastern provinces of China and South India respectively.

Artist: Malcom Koh

Material: Bronze

Year: 2002