My great-grandfather’s Crazy Rich Asian wedding

As it was reported in the news in 1915

Shawn Seah
4 min readJul 23, 2022


My family photographs of my great-grandfather Mr Seah Eng Kwang and his Crazy Rich Asian home at Orchard Road. In newspaper articles and personal documents his home was reported as 198 Orchard Road, except a contrary source that stated 168 Orchard Road (likely the 168 was a typo). Photograph by writer; original images from Florence Seah’s collection.

On 20 October 1915, The Straits Times reported on the wedding of my great-grandfather, Seah Eng Kwang (b. unknown; d. 1952).

This is an artist’s impression of how the former Crazy Rich Asian gentleman looked like, based on a surviving photograph.

This is an artist’s impression of my great-grandfather, Seah Eng Kwang (b. unknown; d. 1952). Artwork by the talented artist Jeyasoorya, commissioned by writer Shawn Seah.

The Straits Times reported:

The doors of Mr. and Mrs. Seah Peck Seah’s residence in High Street were thrown widely open yesterday in honour of the marriage of Mr. Seah Eng Kwang, the fourth son of these hospitable hosts, who have held numerous receptions there during the past few years.

The bride, Miss Tan Hong Jee, a daughter of Mr. Tan Chew Kian, merchant of Rhio, was arrayed in a typical Chinese wedding raiment and, in accordance with custom, sat in the bridal chamber with the bridegroom where they were visited by the guests.

Unfortunately, the weather was awful and many friends were at the races, but the guests arrived in large numbers and much enjoyed the function, everything being done to ensure their comfort.

The rooms were hung with rich Chinese tapestries, while other characteristic decorations adorned the stairways and entrance hall, the inevitable wayang being in the courtyard and affording much enjoyment to the Chinese guests who tendered congratulations the day previous and again last evening.

In proposing the health of the bride and bridegroom, the Hon R J. Wilkinson, C.M.G., said it might interest those present to know that the family of Seah Peck Seah was a thorough Singapore family because most of the Chinese families known in the Straits Settlements came from Malacca or Penang.

Mr. Seah Peck Seah’s father was the first settler to come from China to Singapore, he believed, and was one of the first Justices of the Peace in the Settlement. Mr. Seah Eng Kwang, the bridegroom, was a son of Mr. Seah Peck Seah, whose elder brother, Mr. Seah Liang Seah, was for many years a member of the Legislative…



Shawn Seah

Singaporean writer and public speaker, passionate about education, social issues, and local history and community stories.