Portrait of Baba G T Lye

Baba Gwee Thian ("G T") Lye (b.1939) is a wayang Peranakan practitioner and champion of Peranakan art and culture. In a career spanning almost 40 years, he has acted in 23 wayang Peranakan plays, the bulk of which were staged by the Gunong Sayang Association of Singapore. Best known for playing Peranakan matriarchs, G T Lye has also been a dialogue coach, scriptwriter, co-director, and mentor to younger actors. In 2020, the National Heritage Board of Singapore honoured him as a Steward Of Singapore’s Intangible Cultural Heritage for his contribution to the art form. In this portrait by the artist Alvin Ong, G T Lye is depicted in his theatre persona as a Peranakan matriarch. He wears a long, loose-fitting tunic known as a baju panjang fastened with kerosang (brooches commonly found in sets of three).