eMuseum Southeast Asia Ceramics

About Us

Southeast Asian Ceramic Society (SEACS)

Formed in 1969, the Southeast Asian Ceramic Society’s purpose is to widen appreciation and acquire knowledge of the ceramic art of China and countries adjacent to China, especially those of Southeast Asia. To pursue this aim, local members meet for periodic discussions, hear talks by experts, and study and compare ‘pots’.

The Southeast Asian Ceramics Society organised an inaugural Exhibition at the University Art Museum, Singapore in 1971. This landmark exhibition consisted of 350 examples of Khmer, Annamese and early Thai pottery, drawn largely from the University’s collection built up by Mr William Willetts, the curator, who served as the first President of the Society. A substantial number of pieces also came from the collection of Mr Don Sinclair and other Members of the first Council.

The historian Mr John Guy has noted that this “presentation of the then little known ceramic tradition of Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam caused a stir amongst the oriental ceramic cognoscenti.” Furthermore, that “the Willetts pioneering Catalogue for the Society inspired a generation of younger scholars and stimulated the interest of government archaeological departments throughout Southeast Asia.” As a consequence, ceramic societies were to emerge in ensuing years in West Malaysia, Jakarta, Manila and Hong Kong, following the lead of the Singapore chapter.

The Society held 10 exhibitions in the period 1971-2009, and since 1999 has organised an annual William Willetts Lecture, which is held immediately after the Society’s Annual General Meeting.

The Society is proud to count among its members professionals, academics and scholars from universities and museums in Singapore and internationally.