Photograph of Oei Tiong Ham

This is a photograph of Oei Tiong Ham, a wealthy businessman and Majoor (major) of the Chinese community in Semarang. Seated on a chair, he is dressed in a suit, and was reportedly the first Chinese man in Semarang to adopt Western clothing, given its political significance. Oei Tiong Ham made his fortune in sugar production and opium trading and was known as the “Sugar King” of Indonesia, He donated land for the construction of the Tao Nan School building (now Peranakan Museum) in 1910. The rise in the number of photography studios in the 1850s led to the circulation of nineteenth-century European-styled portraits in the Straits Settlements and Dutch East Indies.

ca. 1920
Found in Singapore
Image size: 17.0 x 12.0 cm, Frame size: 18.2 x 13.4 x 1.5 cm
Accession No.
Collection of
Peranakan Museum
Credit Line
Gift of Diana Oei
Photographs and Negatives

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