$400,000 donation for Asian Civilisations Museum

Mr Kwek Leng Beng, executive chairman of Hong Leong Group, says the new wing will display treasures from China.
Mr Kwek Leng Beng, executive chairman of Hong Leong Group, says the new wing will display treasures from China.PHOTO: HONG LEONG GROUP

The Asian Civilisations Museum (ACM) has received a $400,000 donation from the Hong Leong Foundation to fund its research as well as programmes.

The Hong Leong Group's charity arm is a major supporter of the museum. The latest amount brings its total donation to $8.2 million, making it the museum's biggest cash donor.

The latest donation would be to support programmes on Asian history and culture, interactive education programmes and research to enhance its collections, special exhibitions and publications, the museum said in a press statement.

Its director Alan Chong thanked the Hong Leong Foundation for having been "a steadfast and very generous supporter of the ACM over the past 14 years".

The museum is eligible to apply for the Government's Cultural Matching Fund, which provides dollar-for-dollar matching grants for cash donations to the arts and heritage sector.

The latest donation follows a record year for donations to the arts, which climbed to $53.8 million last year, a marked increase of more than 67 per cent compared to 2013.

The Hong Leong Group, headed by executive chairman Kwek Leng Beng, is a conglomerate that owns businesses such as property development and financial services.

The foundation first donated $2.8 million to the Asian Civilisations Museum in 2001 to set up the China Gallery, which focused on art and artefacts from Fujian province in China. In 2012, the foundation contributed $5 million to add a modern wing to the museum.

The new 869 sq m wing is named after Hong Leong Group's founder, the late Kwek Hong Png, who came to Singapore in 1928 from Fujian. He died here in 1994, aged 82.

The first two floors of the new wing will open to the public on Nov 14 when the museum unveils the first phase of its revamp.

The third floor is slated to be ready by the first quarter of next year when the museum's second phase of revamp is completed.

It includes a contemporary art space and a studio gallery which gives more space and greater focus to the museum's Fujian collections.

Said Mr Kwek: "This new wing expands the Asian Civilisations Museum's gallery space to display treasures from China, enabling it to tell more stories of trade and immigration, which are vital parts of Singapore's history and heritage."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 29, 2015, with the headline '$400,000 donation for Asian Civilisations Museum'. Subscribe