Sunday, December 29, 2013


There is only one original photograph of Chew Joo Chiat. It is in the home of one of Chew’s great grandson. Ancestor worship has been passed down from generation to generation and the duty now falls on him.  Chew’s photograph is a full body portrait. It was taken in a photo studio as shown above. It shows him dressed in a western attire - coat and pants with a bow tie complete with a topee or hat on the table. The photo gave the impression that he was an educated man with an illustrious career and standing in society.
After Chew Joo Chiat’s death his photo was put in No 73 Joo Chiat Road for ancestor worship by his eldest son Chew Cheng Liam. When Cheng Liam died in 1946, his photo was placed next to his father. Ancestor worship was continued by the next generation. Now the duty falls on the fourth generation living at Chai Chee.
I saw Chew Joo Chiat’s half body photo in books, magazines, newspapers and webpages. It had been crop and used without permission. In one instance I noticed credit for the photo was given to a person who copy it. In fact, that person should not take credit for himself. Many people are not aware of copyright.

         Half body photo Chew Joo Chiat crop from the top photo


Bill said...

Hello Mr Chew!

I really enjoy reading your blog and I love every bit about Joo Chiat. The food, architecture, the people. Oh by the way, my profession is a videographer/editor.

I've recently produced a documentary short film about Wah Keow Hair Salon at Joo Chiat Place. It's a familiar place to many. I get my hair cut from that salon since I was in Primary school. Sadly, it has closed down last year due to rising rental cost.The short film entitled Vanishing Trades in Singapore, was awarded The Best Editing Award by ciNE65.

Oh, I'm really interested to find out more about Joo Chiat. How can I reach you?

Thank you!



Jeffrey Liew said...

Hi Uncle Chew,

I chanced upon your blog about Joo Chiat Place on google and I just want to say great job and effort!

I was born and lived in a two storey Chinese medicinal shop on Joo Chiat Place from 1975 to 1993 before relocating to Australia.

I was told by my dad that my grandfather were friends with one of Chew Joo chiat's son and they would meet up and have tea regularly back then.

I had really fond memories of the place and hope through your blog people who had lived there would somehow see it.

Please keep up the good work and hope you'll have more new articles coming!

Best Regards,
Jeffrey Liew

theshiningfive said...

Hi Mr Chew!

I am a film student from Temasek Polytechnic and my team and I are working on a documentary film on the roots of Singapore, with the story revolving around Bukit Brown cemetery.

I would like to request for your permission to use this photo of Chew Joo Chiat to be included in the film, as there are mentions of our ancestors and roots of Singapore. You can contact me at or alternatively, leave your email down so I may contact you instead. Thank you so much for your time!

Best Regards,
Siti Raudhah