Ee Soon Wei
A grandson of Ee Lay Swee, the family patriarch of the Royal Press, a printing company founded in 1938, Soon Wei is on a mission to revive and enliven this beautiful dusty printing haven. He wants to pass on the traditions of this amazing method, as well as preserve an extremely special family history.
Soon Wei is working on creating new letterpress products and organizing guided tours by collaborating with local and international designers, artists, writers and community organizers whilst preparing a Revival Plan to restore the press to a living museum, one in which artists can work and live in residency for a couple years at a time, where tourists to the beautiful and artistic UNESCO city of Malacca can visit the space and learn about this ancient printmaking method, and where the heritage and story of the space is celebrated. The Discovery Channel even filmed a documentary of the Royal Press.
Soon Wei also ventured to Taiwan to view the world’s only complete set of traditional Chinese character molds made out of lead. The travels and ongoing conversations with members of the Ee family sparked off something within Soon Wei’s heart. He was deeply moved by his unlettered grandmother’s entrepreneurial spirit. Soon Wei hopes that their collaborative efforts will one day transform the Royal Press into a must-visit place in Malacca and an educational hub for rejuvenating the craft of letterpress.
Ee Soon Wei at TEDxKL 2013