Arts House director William Phuan resigns, replacement not named yet

After nearly six years with The Arts House, Mr William Phuan, 43, has resigned as its director and will leave at the end of January. -- PHOTO: ST FILE 
After nearly six years with The Arts House, Mr William Phuan, 43, has resigned as its director and will leave at the end of January. -- PHOTO: ST FILE 

After nearly six years with The Arts House, Mr William Phuan, 43, has resigned as its director and will leave at the end of January.

He wrote on Facebook on Jan 2: "Fulfilled my first resolution of the year: Gave my notice and shall leave The Arts House at the end of January.

"It's been a great ride for the past five-and-a-half years. I'm supremely happy and proud of what I have achieved, having built it to what it is today. My utmost gratitude to the team who have stuck with me through thick and thin. It's time to move on."

He declined to tell The Straits Times what he would be doing next. His replacement has not yet been named but it is understood that his move will not affect this year's programme for The Arts House.

Mr Phuan's resignation comes nine months after The Arts House was shifted under the umbrella of a new holding company, Arts House Limited, which will run the annual Singapore Arts Festival and manage other arts spaces such as Goodman Arts Centre in Mountbatten and Aliwal Arts Centre in the Beach Road area. Ms Lee Chor Lin, chief executive of the Arts House Limited, is expected to take a more prominent role in The Arts House's activities.

During Mr Phuan's time at The Arts House, the arts venue made itself a champion of local literary arts. It held regular readings for local and visiting poets and authors and curated an ongoing series, But Is The Book Better? which contrasts movie adaptations with the books that inspired them.

Under Mr Phuan, the team also curated two well-received fringe programmes of panel discussions, movie screenings and readings alongside the Singapore Writers Festival last year and in 2013. This November's edition of the literary festival will be centred around The Arts House.