Boon Hui Tan Appointed VP for Global Arts and Cultural Programs, Director of Asia Society Museum

Boon Hui Tan. (National Heritage Board)
Boon Hui Tan. (National Heritage Board)

NEW YORK, August 24, 2015 — Asia Society announced today the appointment of Boon Hui Tan, a trailblazer in the arts in Singapore for the last decade and former Director of the Singapore Art Museum, as Vice President for Global Arts and Cultural Programs, and Director of Asia Society Museum.

In this position, Mr. Tan will lead Asia Society’s global arts and cultural activities and oversee Asia Society Museum’s acclaimed collections, including the Mr. and Mrs. John D. Rockefeller 3rd Collection of Traditional Asian Art and the Contemporary Art Collection of photography and new media works by Asian and Asian American artists. Mr. Tan will advance a wide variety of important, scholarly and celebrated exhibitions and lead Asia Society’s distinguished program of performing arts, film and cultural events. Additionally, he will direct the organization's Asia Arts and Museum Network and Arts & Museum Summit.

Read Asia Blog's extended interview with Mr.Tan.

“We are delighted to welcome Tan Boon Hui to Asia Society’s global team,” Asia Society President Josette Sheeran said. “He brings a unique blend of vision and creative leadership to our powerful footprint, built over 60 years, in Asian arts and culture. Boon Hui is one of Asia’s leading talents and his experience in Asia over two decades will invigorate both New York and global appreciation of Asia’s rising role.”

Mr. Tan will assume responsibility for advancing the Asia Arts and Museum Network, designed to provide a global platform for collaborative exchange among arts institutions, arts professionals, artists and the interested public through shared projects, the exchange of best practices, and the development of an intellectual framework to advance the crucial role of the arts in building understanding about Asia.

“I am delighted to be joining the Asia Society,” Mr. Tan said. “The opportunity to use the lens of arts and culture to explore ideas and issues of importance to Asia, and Asian and Asian American artists, is truly exciting. I am also proud to be joining an organization with such a powerful and prestigious history in Asia.”

As Assistant Chief Executive for Museums and Programs under Singapore’s National Heritage Board, Mr. Tan has overseen and developed the exhibitions, programs and outreach activities of National Heritage Board organizations, including the National Museum of Singapore, Asian Civilizations Museum, Peranakan Museum and the Malay Heritage Center. He also recently served as Artistic Director of Singapour en France, le Festival 2015, a multidisciplinary festival focusing on Singapore and Southeast Asia. Prior to these roles, Mr. Tan was Director of the Singapore Art Museum where, beginning in 2009, he led the curatorial team in building the largest public collection of contemporary art in Southeast Asia. He also curated major events including the Night Festival and Children’s Season, directed the 2011 Singapore Biennale, and both directed and co-curated the 2013 Biennale, which drew some 500,000 visitors. Mr. Tan also managed Singapore’s pavilion at the 50th Venice Biennale, and worked internationally with artists and organizations, on projects in New Zealand, Ireland, Mexico, the United Kingdom and France.

Mr. Tan is a Founding Board Member of the International Biennials Association, established in 2014 to expand knowledge and share practices and activities pertaining to the curatorial and creative aspects of biennials around the world. He assumes his position at Asia Society in December, succeeding Peggy Loar, who served as Interim Vice President for Global Arts and Culture and Director of Asia Society Museum from 2014 to 2015. Ms. Loar stated: “Asia Society is an amazing organization, and an active realm for the art of ideas. Tan Boon Hui is the perfect arts professional to step into this role — one in which he can explore and deliver fusion within the arts, culture and ideas, as well as connect intelligently to the world of today and to artists and thinkers, past and present, who have so much to say.”

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Downloadable versions of the complete press release in English and Chinese are available.