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From Boston to Singapore - A New Director for the Asian Civilisations Museum
Alan Chong at the Palazzo Barbaro, Venice, Italy. Courtesy, Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. Photo: Richard Lingner.
BOSTON, MA.- The National Heritage Board (NHB) of Singapore welcomes Dr Alan Chong as the new Director of the Asian Civilisations Museum (ACM), one of the five national museums of Singapore. The announcement concludes an intensive 12-month worldwide search since news of the retirement of Dr Kenson Kwok, the museum’s former Director, was announced in 2008. Currently the William and Lia Poorvu curator at the renowned Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston, Dr Alan Chong succeeds Dr Kenson Kwok who served as Director of the ACM from 1994 to 2009.

Says Mrs Lee Suet Fern, Chair of the ACM Board, who led the search committee for the new Director: “The search was intensive and truly international in scope. We believe that we have found an ideal leader in Alan Chong. I know that he will bring the ACM and Peranakan Museum towards a new future of innovation and growth. The entire ACM Board joins me in welcoming Alan to the museum and we wish him every success.”

Mr Michael Koh, Chief Executive Officer of NHB, says: “Alan Chong brings experience as a curator and a scholarly reputation to the ACM. A superior connoisseurship and design expert, he will provide effective leadership of the museum’s collections and projects. He has directed major exhibitions on the cultural interactions between Asia and the West, including the connections between Renaissance Europe and the Ottoman Empire; Portuguese trade with South Asia; and travel in Asia in the 19th century. His international experiences and connections will be integral to charting ACM to its next phase.”

“I am greatly honored to become Director of the ACM, one of Singapore’s great cultural assets. Its combination of a significant collection of historic objects, with a strong identification with the communities of Singapore, sets it apart from other museums. The ACM and the Peranakan Museum echo the multi-cultural nature of its home. I look forward to this opportunity, especially in considering the blending of cultures that arise from trade and migration,” says Dr Alan Chong.

As curator at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Dr Alan Chong has developed a widely admired and innovative series of exhibitions, conferences and publications. His exhibitions have been shown in Boston and major museums in the United States, Italy, and the United Kingdom. He has also led institutional planning, design review and website development. Before joining the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Dr Alan Chong served as a curator at the Art Gallery of Ontario in Toronto and the Cleveland Museum of Art.

Raised in Hawaii, Dr Alan Chong received his Ph.D. in art history at the Institute of Fine Arts at the New York University and his undergraduate degree at the Yale University. His research fields include 17th century Dutch art, Renaissance art, patronage and collecting, and most recently, cultural connections between the East and West. The exhibitions he has curated at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum include: Bellini and the East (also presented at the National Gallery, London); Luxury for Export: Artistic Exchange Between India and Portugal around 1600; Raphael, Cellini, Renaissance Banker: The Patronage of Bindo Altoviti (also shown at the Museo del Bargello, Florence); A Bronze Menagerie: Mat Weights of Early China; and Journeys East: Isabella Stewart Gardner and Asia (recently honored by the American Art Museum Curators).

Asian Civilisations Museum | Dr Alan Chong | Dr Kenson Kwok | Mrs Lee Suet Fern |

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