SINGAPORE - Wing Tai Holdings deputy chairman Edmund Cheng will succeed Ms Jane Ittogi as the chair of the Singapore Art Museum (SAM) board of directors, the museum announced on Thursday (April 5).
Mr Cheng's previous appointments in the arts community include chairman of the National Arts Council from 2005 to 2013, The Esplanade Co Ltd from 2003 to 2005 and the DesignSingapore Council from 2003 to 2008, as well as the Singapore Tourism Board from 1993 to 2001.
"I appreciate the opportunity to work with the team to achieve SAM's vision towards the development and appreciation of contemporary art at home and in the region," he said in a statement. "This shall support SAM's growth as a distinctive arts venue dedicated to outstanding contemporary art of Singapore, Southeast Asia and the wider Asia region, in continuation of Jane Ittogi's leadership and efforts."
Ms Ittogi, a lawyer by training and the wife of Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam, chaired SAM's advisory board when it was a museum under the National Heritage Board, guiding it through its corporatisation in 2013. She then served as its chair until the end of last month.
She championed SAM's community engagement through partnerships with initiatives such as the Yellow Ribbon Project, which culminated in an annual presentation of inmates' artworks at the museum.
"It's been a wonderful journey with the team at the Singapore Art Museum, working together to put a global focus on contemporary art practices in Singapore and Southeast Asia, while continuously engaging with artists, audiences and underserved communities in the region," she said.
Minister for Culture, Community and Youth, Ms Grace Fu said of Ms Ittogi: "Under her stewardship, the Singapore Art Museum has established our voice in the Southeast Asian and global contemporary art scene and made the visual arts accessible to more Singaporeans.
"We welcome Edmund as he takes over the helm, and look forward to SAM's continued engagement with local, regional and international art audiences."