Kuan Im Tng was purchased on 31 May 1919 by Mr.Tan Pang Seng, Mr.Tan Jit Whee and Mr. Loh Cheng Ying for the purpose of building a "joss house"- a colonial for the chinese temple. The first abbot of the temple was Venerable Li Nanshan, who came to simgapore from Canton, China in the 1900's. He worked hard to build and establish the Kuan Im Tng temple. The temple is dedicated to Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva, known as Kuan Shi Yin P'usa or Kuan Yin Niang Niang, or the Goddess of Mercy. Kuan Yins image appears in many forms, but the most commom form is the white-robbed one. Temples dedicated to Kuan Yin believe in the harmony of Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism.
The chinese temple was built in 1921 and has been renovated twice. It plays a big role in the community life of katong/Joo Chiat. Its ornate facade and front door are flanked by circular windows,surrounded by white, yellow and blue mosiac symbols of the Eight Immortals. The green roof tiles are chinese-made and its roof ridges aresdorned with statues of dancing dragons with celestial pearl, symbolising prosperity and good fortune. The main prayer hall of the temple is dedicated to Guan Yin(Goddess of mercy), Confucius and the Sun and the Moon gods. <Rediscover the east, a brochure>
On 14 February 1933, three owners fromally conveyed the land and the temple to a group of trustees so as to ensure that the land and the temple would always remain a place of worship. In 1988, the temple underwent major renovation. priests and abbot, Cheu Yok Beng, has contributed alot to the temple and the community for more than 40 years. Today, the temple is a place of worship for all and is comitted to help the less fortunate.