The tension between the use of postcolonial memory to bear witness to the past and the aestheticization of memory lies at the center of Malaysian-born writer Tan Twan Eng’s second novel, The Garden of Evening Mists (2012), a work that features the Japanese occupation of Malaya during World War II and the postwar period of the Malayan Emergency. The main protagonist is a former judge named Yun Ling who, faced with the prospect of eventual memory and speech loss, is moved to record her past experiences including the time she was a prisoner of war interred and when she was an apprentice to the gardener, Aritomo. In this article, I examine the novel’s self-conscious musings about the nature of memory and the ways in which memory may be represented and preserved. Tan’s novel attempts to provide a meditation on the transcultural mediation and aestheticization of memory by deliberately intermingling and overlaying various cultural features, artistic traditions and ethno-cultural subjectivities when it comes to processes of remembering. The attempt to transculturally aestheticize memory is on one level a metafictional and ostensibly inclusive move to affirm the plurality of stories and multiple perspectives. Yet, this is undermined by the novel’s very strategies of aestheticization, which run the risk of making memory an artistic object so “precious” and rarefied as to counter the more avowedly political function of memory—that of bearing witness to history.