Silk scroll presented to Thian Hock Keng Temple by the Qing court

This scroll was believed to be presented by the Qing Emperor Guang Xu to Thian Hock Keng – Singapore’s oldest Chinese temple – in 1907. The fact that it was mounted on the wooden plaque bearing the same words was not discovered until almost a century later when the temple underwent restoration works between 1998 and 2000. On the yellow silk are the words of blessing, 'bo jing nan ming', or ‘calm seas in the South seas', and the royal seal of the Qing emperor. The scroll and plaque were seen as an olive branch given to the temple to gain the support of the overseas Chinese for the Qing court.