Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts to have new president

Mrs Tan-Soh Wai Lan will take over from Mr Chia Mia Chiang as the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts president.
Mrs Tan-Soh Wai Lan will take over from Mr Chia Mia Chiang as the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts president.

Mr Chia Mia Chiang is stepping down as president of the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts (Nafa) on Dec 31.

Taking over as president-designate on Dec 21 is Mrs Tan-Soh Wai Lan, 53, currently coordinating divisional director of the Communications and Engagement Group at the Ministry of Education. From 2012 to 2016, she was principal of CHIJ St Nicholas Girls' School, where she coordinated and implemented its Joint Integrated Programme with Catholic High School and Singapore Chinese Girls' School.

Mr Chia, 68, is credited with leading Nafa's strategic review when he joined the institution in 2014 after more than a decade as the principal of Ngee Ann Polytechnic.

Under him, the 82-year-old academy strengthened its programme with an industry-based learning curriculum that included a mandatory semester-long internship, introduced its Overseas Immersion Programme and encouraged interdisciplinary projects across the academy.

Mr Chia said in a statement yesterday: "It has been an immense privilege to be involved in Nafa's growth and transformation. I am appreciative of the support which the academy has given me, and I am proud of the results that we have achieved in unity. I am glad to be passing the baton to Wai Lan, whose dynamism will serve Nafa well in its next phase of growth."

Among his achievements is securing $10 million from the Ngee Ann Kongsi in 2015 for Nafa's new campus building, the largest donation since the academy's founding. And in 2016, Kwan Im Thong Hood Cho Temple donated $5 million to the building.

Nafa's board chairman, Ms Low Sin Leng, said: "The academy is deeply grateful to Mia Chiang for his vision and wisdom. Notably, he has been a pillar of strength as he steered the academy smoothly in this challenging year."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 17, 2020, with the headline 'Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts to have new president'. Print Edition | Subscribe