Translated by WINNIE CHOOI
Sin Chew Daily
It is a rather strange thing not to see fabric designs or garments on display inside a tailor shop. Instead, many traditional items are neatly displayed on the shelves. These items are the favourites of 44-year-old tailor Huang Yun Qiang.
Huang has been collecting these antique items since he was 20, including teapots, tea cups, sewing machines, hair dryers, pipes, vases and porcelain bowls.
A big part of his collection has been sourced from local markets. However, Huang would occasionally travel overseas to pick up a few interesting items from countries like Thailand, China, Vietnam and Singapore.
Huang said he would not look for these items intentionally, adding that some of them have been gifts from friends.
"I just like to collect these things and treat them as treasure. I feel great gazing at them and they transport me back to the time of my ancestors."
Huang is not specifically attached to any of these items, and has not kept a record as to how many pieces he has collected so far.
His house and shop are constantly filled with all sorts of antiquities and he only tidies up his collection when he has some time to spare.
"People find me weird keeping all this stuff although some like-minded friends would share their experiences in antique collection with me," he explained.
Huang joked that he could turn down dinner invitations but would rush over if someone says he has some old stuff to give away.
Two centuries of history
Huang said among his collection, the most precious one is a clay sculpture of dragon believed to be more than 200 years old that he picked up from Thailand.
As his collection is piling up by the day, Huang does not rule out the possibility of giving some away to true connoisseurs in the future.
"I have to learn to let go of these things for I believe there are more precious ones coming along after I have disposed of some of them."