Thank you for visiting this page. It features both upcoming and past events, e.g. book talks, sharing sessions, and readings. In 2023, I mark 200 years since Teochew leader Seah Eu Chin first set foot in Singapore by releasing a series of children’s books on Our Amazing Pioneers. There will also be free public events. Please stay tuned!

Past Events

Our Amazing Pioneers! at the Asian Civilisations Museum (28 May 2023), 1.30pm

Shawn Seah at the Asian Civilisations Museum on 28 May 2023. Photograph taken by Shawn’s team.

On 28 May 2023, I was a small part of the Singapore HeritageFest 2023! I shared stories about Seah Eu Chin, Seah Liang Seah, and Ngeow Cher Seong. Researching and writing about our amazing pioneers has been an incredible journey, only possible with kind, generous, and continued support from many people. I would like to express my heartfelt thanks to the National Heritage Board, WS Education, my friend Francis Ngau of Asian Artistry Fine Jewellery, my family and volunteers, and, above all, the 55 participants who attended and made today’s talk a great success.

Kampung Memories from Aukang, at Punggol Regional Library (14 May 2023)

Shawn Seah at the Programme Room at level 5 of the Punggol Regional Library. Photograph taken by Shawn’s team.

On 14 May 2023, I shared stories at the Punggol Regional Library. I had a lot of fun sharing stories like how my grandfather set out to “defeat the Empire”; how my father was warned that if he did not study hard, he would “become a night soil carrier”; and many more kampung stories. It was heartwarming to hear the participants’ own personal experiences. Special thanks must go to the National Library Board for the kind invitation, and the 50 people who attended the talk.

Our Amazing Pioneers at Punggol Regional Library (30 April 2023)

Shawn Seah at the Stories Come Alive Room of Punggol Regional Library. Photograph taken by Shawn’s team.

A big thank you to the 45 kind participants (and four volunteers!) who made the trip down to Punggol Regional Library for the launch of Our Amazing Pioneers! I shared stories of pioneers Seah Eu Chin, Seah Liang Seah, and Syed Omar Aljunied. We explored how they came to Singapore, settled down, and contributed to society. Their stories form part of our larger Singapore Story, and I hope to have inspired children and their families to learn more about Singapore’s history. Today’s successful free public talk was only possible with the kindness of the National Library Board, WS Education, my family, and volunteers. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Heritage Business and Innovation Sharing at Indian Heritage Centre (12 November 2022)

Attending a talk by NHB. Photograph taken by Shawn Seah.

I attended NHB’s Heritage Business and Innovation sharing at the Indian Heritage Centre. Both presenters, Chong Suan of Chuan Ji and Samir Kazura of Jamal Kazura Aromatics, shared from their hearts. They talked about the history of their companies; their transformation; and how they struggled during the COVID-19 pandemic. A big thank you must go to NHB for organising the learning session. Because of the session, I also had the chance to catch up with a few friends from The Peranakan Association Singapore.

Books on Sale at Rumah Kim Choo (from September 2022)

Books at Rumah Kim Choo at East Coast Road. Images by Shawn Seah.

I have always been captivated by the charm, culture, and colours at Rumah Kim Choo. (It is located at 111 East Coast Road, near i12 Katong.) If you would like to learn more about one of the co-founders of the Straits Chinese British Association (SCBA), hint: some of my books are available there! Special thanks must go to Edmond Wong of Rumah Kim Choo for supporting the community and local writers like myself.

Guest Lecture at the National University of Singapore, Lecture Theatre 53 (12 September 2022)

Guest lecture by Shawn Seah at NUS. Photograph taken by Shawn’s team.

On 12 September 2022, I delivered a guest lecture to over 60 undergraduate students on Seah Eu Chin, Seah Liang Seah, and my journey to learn more about them. The students were engaged. They asked many questions, including whether I received any money from Seah Liang Seah’s unusual will and if there was a difference between policies that Singapore-born Seah Liang Seah championed compared to China-born Whampoa. I also enjoyed a nice catch up with my friend, Associate Professor Wong Sin Kiong. I greatly appreciate his kind invitation and look forward to sharing more stories in future.

National Library Board (NLB)’s Archives Invites (21 June 2022)

Archives Invites Zoom Webinar. A friend of mine took this screenshot.

On 21 June 2022, at 6.30pm over Zoom, I spoke to 160 participants about my family history and my personal journey of searching for my roots. I would like to thank everyone who joined me on Zoom as well as NLB for this opportunity. And I would strongly encourage more members of the public to explore NLB’s resources to find out more about Singapore’s history.

Your Singapore Weekend with Susan Ng and Justine Moss (19 June 2022)

National Library Board (NLB)’s Archive Invites (21 June 2022). Image by NLB.

I appeared on CNA938 at 7.45am on 19 June to share titbits ahead of my NLB Archives Invites talk on 21 June 2022. I am grateful to the CNA938 producers and presenters, as well as NLB, for the invitation. NLB supports partners and members of the community, like myself, in our efforts to nurture a stronger appreciation of Singapore. I also encourage people to explore NLB’s resources to find out more about Singapore’s history and how it has shaped our national identity.

Singapore Seah Clan Association (29 May 2022)

A token of appreciation from President David Siah of the Singapore Seah Clan Association (SSCA). Photo courtesy of the SSCA.

On 29 May 2022, I was at the Singapore Seah Clan Association (SSCA) to share stories from My Father’s Kampung to about 30 clan members. I was delighted to find that about around a third of them lived or had lived in Aukang, with several still living in Hougang today. They were able to relate to, and resonate with, life in early Singapore. Some even recounted their own lived experiences. I am grateful to David, Walter, and Jeremy for inviting me and giving me an opportunity to speak to our fellow clan members.

The Baba Nyonya Literary Festival (Day 2: 20 March 2022)

Photos from the Baba Nyonya Literary Festival. Photos by author except photo on bottom right, courtesy of Andrew Mok.

On Sunday (20 March 2022), I attended Day 2 of the Baba Nyonya Literary Festival, organised by the Peranakan Association Singapore. My favourite panel comprised Robert Yeo, Josephine Chia, and Walter Woon. I moderated the panel as they shared about Routes: A Singaporean Memoir 1940–75; When a Flower Dies; and The Devil’s Circle respectively, as well as grappled with questions of identity, culture, and ethnicity. Although it was wonderful moderating my panel, it was also a delight to listen to the other panels’ tales of jewellery, kebayas, and family history. I caught up with friends and also made new friends, including Norman Cho, who wrote The Bejewelled Lives of the Peranakans.

Sharing @ NHB’s Heritage Grant Clinic (16 February 2022)

Sharing session at NHB’s Heritage Grant Clinic on 16 February 2022. A friend of mine took this screenshot.

I was delighted to share lessons learnt and provide practical project tips from my Heritage Participation Grant experience to around 90 potential grant applicants. Special thanks to NHB for inviting me to share, and I look forward to seeing more heritage projects in future!

Speaking with (i) Students from Hwa Chong Institution and (ii) Undergraduates from the College of Alice and Peter Tan (CAPT) (26 January 2022)

In the afternoon over Zoom, President of Keng Teck Whay Mr Ronney Tan Koon Siang and I spoke with around 30 Hwa Chong Institution students from the Bicultural Studies Programme. We covered issues like the evolution of the Peranakan (and Singapore) identity. Thank you Hwa Chong Institution for inviting President and me to share our views.

In the evening, I had the privilege to speak with around 40 CAPT students reading the module UTC2406/UTS2404 Cities and Nature. I spoke about the impact of economic development on historical Aukang, particularly in the areas of culture, heritage, and religion. Many thanks must go to Dr Toh Tai Chong for kindly inviting me to share my views.

Singapore Book Awards 2021 (24 September 2021)

My Father’s Kampung: A History of Aukang and Punggol was a finalist for the Best Non-Fiction Title of the Singapore Book Awards 2021 and top 10 for the Readers’ Choice Awards.

On 24 September 2021, I attended my first Singapore Book Awards. I’m delighted to be a finalist for the Best Non-Fiction Title and top 10 for Readers’ Choice. To be able to attend this hybrid event in person was a privilege. Very thankful for my family, friends, and volunteers; the National Heritage Board; my publisher World Scientific; Montfort Alumni and Singapore Seah Clan Association; and a supportive community. Could only have done this because of all of you—thank you!

“Seah Liang Seah: King of the Streets” (25 July 2021)

A friend of mine helped take this shot of me delivering the talk.

In collaboration with the Peranakan Association Singapore, I spoke on Seah Liang Seah’s life and times on Sunday, 25 July 2021, at 3pm over Zoom. Among Seah’s many accomplishments was the co-founding of the Straits Chinese British Association (SCBA) in 1900, which eventually became the Peranakan Association. Over 100 people tuned in to Zoom talk, and many more on Facebook Live. Thank you to those who tuned in, as well as the team at the Peranakan Association Singapore for organising this event.

Poster by the Peranakan Association of Singapore for the 25 July 2021 Zoom talk by Baba Shawn Seah

“Searching for One’s Roots in Singapore: A Talk by Author Shawn Seah” (12 December 2020)

Genealogy Society Singapore (GSS) publicity image for “Searching for One’s Roots in Singapore: A Talk by Author Shawn Seah”

On 12 December 2020, at 3pm over Zoom, I spoke about my personal journey in documenting my family history. Thank you to everyone who tuned in to my sharing and had a good laugh at my Mandarin! I would also like to thank Genealogy Society Singapore (GSS) for this collaboration with World Scientific. Through this sharing, I hope to have inspired many to learn more about local and family history, just as I did. I was happy to spark conversations with many of the 53 people who attended the talk. I believe that through understanding stories of local pioneers, and what makes Singapore unique, we can better understand who we are as one people.

Kopi Talk: Literary Pioneers of Aukang (6 December 2020)

A friend of mine helped take this shot of me smiling during my “Kopi Talk: Literary Pioneers of Aukang”!

I spent a nice Sunday afternoon talking about my book, My Father’s Kampung, and the stories of several literary pioneers from Aukang. My guest speakers were my mentor Robert Yeo, as well as Director of Poetry Festival Singapore Eric Valles. Robert shared excerpts from his autobiography as he was a former Aukang resident, covering topics such as his challenges in learning Chinese, an inspiring Serangoon English School principal, and the kampung spirit. Eric spoke about pre-independence Singapore poets Teo Poh Leng and Teo Kah Leng, and read out extracts of their poetry. A big thank you to Robert, Eric, and World Scientific for helping me organise this wonderful event!

Talk to Volunteers from The Peranakan Museum (14 November 2020)

A photograph of Ixora Room at the museum back in August 2017, pre-COVID and pre-renovation times.

I spent a delightful Saturday afternoon on 14 November 2020 online with around 70 volunteers from The Peranakan Museum. I am grateful to the museum volunteers for giving me the opportunity to share about Seah family history and Seah Liang Seah’s prominent Peranakan contemporaries, and my personal journey in documenting my family history. Those who attended the Zoom talk found it meaningful and asked many questions on Peranakan identity. This event brought back fond personal memories of my very first time speaking at The Peranakan Museum (in Ixora Room) back in August 2017. It was my first public talk on local history. And many museum volunteers and docents attended that first talk, and encouraged me. A journey of a thousand miles does start from a single step. I will always remember the generous support from many kind people who helped start me on this public speaking journey.

Bicultural Studies Programme with Hwa Chong Institution (7 November 2020)

On 7 November 2020 (Saturday), I spoke with Hwa Chong Institution students about Singapore pioneers Seah Eu Chin and Seah Liang Seah in the morning from 9am to 10.30am. A total of 25 students and teachers attended the talk.

Profits, Power, and Parties: Stories of the Original Crazy Rich Asians (23 October 2020)

A friend of mine sent me pictures of me speaking during the Zoom talk. Unfortunately for me, this is the best one!

On Friday, 23 October 2020 at 7pm, I talked about “Profits, Power, and Parties: Stories of the Original Crazy Rich Asians” in a joint Friends of the Museum – Asian Civilisations Museum (FOM-ACM) event. More than a hundred participants attended the online talk. I would like to thank the many kind people who took the time to attend the talk, where I spoke on Seah Eu Chin and Seah Liang Seah. I would also like to thank both FOM and ACM for inviting me, and coordinating this successful Zoom talk. This would not have been possible without their help.

Kopi Talk: Aukang and Montfort, Its Historic Education Hub (19 September 2020)

“Kopi Talk: Aukang and Montfort, Its Historic Education Hub”, jointly organised by World Scientific and Montfort Alumni on 19 September 2020

On 19 September 2020, I launched My Father’s Kampung: A History of Aukang and Punggol at 3pm. This e-launch was kindly co-organised by World Scientific and Montfort Alumni and conducted over Zoom. I was privileged to have two guest speakers, Ng Kok Song and Brother Dominic Yeo-Koh, prominent Montfort alumni and former residents of Aukang. The sharing focused on Montfort, the Church of the Nativity, and Kangkar (a fishing village in Aukang), as well as the kampung spirit, and attracted slightly over a hundred people. I would like to thank everyone who attended my first Zoom sharing session (and first Facebook live session). And thank you to Mr Ng and Brother Dominic for the meaningful sharing.

Singapore Heritage Festival 2020 – “Grandfather Stories” by Shawn Seah

Seah Peck Seah’s image is featured in this article on Seah family history, along with other images, including photos from the Singapore Seah Clan Association

2020 marked 70 years of the official founding of the Singapore Seah Clan Association. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a range of planned celebratory cultural and food activities, including my talk on Seah family history, had been cancelled. Luckily, the National Heritage Board organised the first digital Singapore Heritage Festival. The Singapore Seah Clan Association and I were delighted to be a small, little part of this inaugural digital festival. In a photoessay entitled “Grandfather Stories”, I reflected on the importance of “grandfather stories”. You can read “Grandfather Stories” here. Thank you for reading, and your support.

Sharing Stories with Volunteers (17 January 2020)

Speaking to hardworking and dedicated museum volunteers at URA Centre

Friends of the Museum (FOM) invited me to give a talk to their volunteers at URA Centre, near Peck Seah Street. I shared several stories of Chinese pioneers in Singapore—Seah Eu Chin, Seah Liang Seah, and their contemporaries such as Sir Song Ong Siang and Tan Jiak Kim, the grandson of Peranakan philanthropist Tan Kim Seng. Dedicated museum volunteers are unsung heroes who devote their time and effort to promote history and heritage in Singapore. Thank you.

To get a glimpse into events held in 2017, 2018, and 2019, please visit this Events page instead ( or A Big Thank You ( As always, thank you for your kind support.

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Copyright © 2020 by Shawn Seah Li Song

Updated 4 June 2023