Asian Civilisations Museum gets new director

National Heritage Board's group director of museums, Mr Kennie Ting (above), takes over the position from Dr Alan Chong.
National Heritage Board's group director of museums, Mr Kennie Ting (above), takes over the position from Dr Alan Chong.PHOTO: NATIONAL HERITAGE BOARD

The Asian Civilisations Museum (ACM) will have a new director in September when the National Heritage Board's group director of museums, Mr Kennie Ting, takes over from Dr Alan Chong, who will be returning to the United States.

Mr Ting, 38, joined the heritage board in 2012 and has been involved in strategic planning, corporate development and museum operations. He was appointed group director of museums last year and oversaw the board's five museums - including the ACM's recent revamp - and major festivals such as the Singapore Night Festival.

He will continue to be group director of museums after he takes the helm at ACM.

Dr Chong, 54, who has been with the heritage board since 2010, will be joining the Currier Museum of Art in Manchester, New Hampshire, as director and chief executive. The museum owns the famed Zimmerman House designed by renowned architect Frank Lloyd Wright.

In a press statement, the heritage board's chief executive, Mrs Rosa Daniel, said Mr Ting's appointment "underscores the confidence we have in our young home-grown leadership taking our cultural institutions forward".

Mr Ting began his career at the former Ministry of Information, Communications and the Arts, where he was part of a team drafting Renaissance City Plan III, the blueprint for the arts and heritage sector from 2008 to last year.

He was also the author of two books published last year, The Romance Of The Grand Tour - 100 Years Of Travel In South East Asia, and the volume on Heritage in the Singapore Chronicles series that was commissioned by the Institute of Policy Studies.

On Dr Chong's departure, Mrs Daniel said his "strong background in curatorial scholarship and research" has "led the ACM in strengthening its curatorial focus on cross-cultural exchanges between world cultures and Asian civilisations".

She said the museum's revamp, which he helped steer, has also been "well-received and has given our audiences beautiful and insightful galleries".

She added: "We are looking forward to Alan's continued involvement with the ACM in his role as an adviser for various ongoing projects."

The museum's new chairman, hotelier and restaurateur Loh Lik Peng, who took over the position from corporate lawyer Lee Suet Fern this year, thanked Dr Chong in the press statement for "pulling together the revamp of ACM and repositioning it as an inspiring museum of cross-cultural connectedness".

He added that he is "confident Kennie will take it to the next level of excellence in the region and beyond" and that he looks forward to "working closely with him and the ACM team in the future".

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 26, 2016, with the headline 'Asian Civilisations Museum gets new director'. Print Edition | Subscribe