Department of Chinese Studies 中文系


The Wan Boo Sow Research Centre for Chinese Culture was set up in the year 2015 under the Department of Chinese Studies. Its mission is to raise research efforts and output in Chinese culture to a higher level, for NUS to establish itself as a leading institution in the field in Asia and beyond. The Centre promotes high quality academic research by consolidating the strengths and building synergies of the six existing research groups of the Department of Chinese Studies: Chinese Linguistics and Translation, Ming-Qing Studies, Print and Popular Culture, Southeast Asian Chinese and Modern China, Chinese Religions, and Classical Literature & Thought. The Centre also collaborates with local universities and institutions in organising and promoting Chinese cultural events. Through visiting fellowships, it seeks to attract renowned scholars to Singapore to conduct interdisciplinary research.

Research Activities

In order to facilitate scholarly exchanges and to keep our staff and students abreast with the latest trends in Chinese culture research, the Centre organises an average of two academic seminars every month. It also hosts two public talks by eminent local and international scholars every year. The Centre embarks on international and interdisciplinary research projects by forming research teams with our existing research groups and overseas research institutes by applying for external research funding and grants.

Research Clusters

  1. Southeast Asian Chinese and Modern China Research Group
  2. Chinese Linguistics Research Group
  3. Ming-Qing Studies Research Group
  4. Print Culture and Popular Culture Research Group
  5. Chinese Religions Research Group
  6. Classical Chinese Literature and Thought Research Group

Vision & Mission

To commit to the research and promotion of traditional Chinese culture. To promote exchanges among researchers of Chinese culture. To foster interdisciplinary research collaboration and projects. To provide research resources and a platform for academic publication.

Visiting Fellowship

The Centre invites and sponsors distinguished scholars annually on a short-term basis to deliver lectures, conduct collaborative research and exchange scholarly ideas with faculty members and students in Singapore. Visiting scholars will have full access to the Centre’s and the University library’s whole range of resources. They will also participate in seminars organised by research groups within the University and have their research findings published by the Centre.


Located at level 5 of the newly constructed Asian Studies Building (AS8), the Centre plays a pivotal role in facilitating interactions amongst the various East Asian, South Asian, and Southeast Asian departments at NUS. The Asia Research Institute is also located right above the Centre at level 7. Situated next to the University Central Library, our Chinese Library houses over 500,000 copies of Chinese books and 3000 journal titles, making it the largest of its kind outside China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan. Its Southeast Asian collection is also the best in Southeast Asia.

About Mr Wan Boo Sow

The Centre is named in honour of the late Mr Wan Boo Sow (1918-1992). Mr Wan was born into a poor immigrant family from Hainan Island, but through hard work, self reliance and an entrepreneurial spirit, he became a very successful businessman. Born and bred in Singapore, Mr Wan obtained a Diploma in Pharmacy from the King Edward VII College of Medicine in 1948. He started the London Pharmacy in High Street and did research on new medications, which yielded the popular Ridto syrup used for the many ailments of infants and young children, and the Ridsect brand of insecticide sold throughout Southeast Asia. Having faced hardship early in life, Mr Wan was compassionate and generous towards people in like circumstances. He was a known figure in public welfare, and he acted as Chairman of the Singapore Hoon (Wan) Clan Association for many years. Mr Wan particularly recognised the importance of education and he instilled this view in his own children. His children, upholding the virtues of their late father, have set up a number of awards and scholarships in NUS, their alma mater, including a generous gift pledge to the Centre.

Contact Us

Wan Boo Sow Research Centre for Chinese Culture
Department of Chinese Studies
National University of Singapore
10 Kent Ridge Crescent
Singapore 119260

Tel: (65) 6516 3900