Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Art Nouveau Tiles

Art Nouveau is a style of art that became an international movement from 1890 to early 1900s and was popularly applied to architecture as well as decorative arts. Though it was most strongly felt in Europe, its influence was global. It is characterized by organic, especially floral and other plant-inspired motifs, as well as highly stylized, flowing curvilinear forms.

I have a thing for art nouveau tiles from this era and Peranakan houses built during the 1900s in Singapore, Malacca and Penang used such art nouveau tiles imported from England for decorative purposes. Although there are reproductions available today, you can still see some old and original art nouveau tiles on the facades of Peranakan houses in Keong Saik Street and Ang Siang Hill in Singapore. And of course along Jonker Street ( Jalan Hang Jebat ) , the heart of Peranakan culture in Malacca.

My favourites are the ones with rich greenish, turquoise hues with bright reddish and pink accents and was absolutely delighted to come across beautiful tile pieces framed in the form of a mirror. The seller was someone who ran a vintage second hand store and he was in the process of selling off some possessions in his personal collection as he was moving. I haven't quite decided where to put it but it should soon adorn one of the main walls in the living room.

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