Har Par was a business man from Rangoon. He and his brother invented s salve called “Tiger Balm.” I use it myself. In the 1930s they moved to Singapore and were very successful. Har par built a mansion for his brother and included many statues and dioramas that illustrated Chinese life and virtues. One in particular was the Ten Courts of Hell. In 1937 Har Par opened up the grounds to the public to instill Chinese values and act as moral lessons for the young. This display became “Tiger Balm Gardens” although it is now rebranded as Har Par Villa.
The 10 Courts of Hall were originally made to impress youth to behave. Today they come with trigger warnings. “Due to the Graphics (sic) nature of the exhibits, viewers’ discretion and parental Guidance are advised.” The kids can’t take it anymore.
As part of the rebranding the Courts of Hell are being expanded. In order to make the exhibits more catholic, they will include Western (as in classic Greek), Christian (including Purgatory), Islamic, Hindu, Buddhist, and Taoist visions of Hell. They provided a “sneak preview” with signboard of different versions of Hades, Hell and Purgatory.
In the end there is redemption of a sort. Sinners who have been punished are led to the Pavilion of Forgetfulness where a nice lady gives them a magic tea that helps them forget their past sinfulness.