SINGAPORE: The Singapore Art Museum (SAM) has announced the appointment of independent curator Dr June Yap as director of curatorial, programmes and publications.
Beginning Sep 1, Dr Yap will be overseeing the museum’s content creation in the lead up to its revamp, future programming and planning.
SAM is currently in the process of a S$90 million revamp – its first since opening in 1996 – which is expected to be completed by 2021.
“SAM has come a long way since it first opened in 1996. This period of rejuvenation and improvement of its buildings presents a great opportunity for reflection upon the museum’s historic moments, as well as to forge its future path," Dr Yap said in a media release.
"I look forward to working with the team at SAM, and to sharing with our audiences and public our upcoming programmes and offerings," she added.
One of the most respected figures in Singapore’s art scene, Dr Yap previously served as a curator at SAM, in 2003 and 2004.
She has also served as curator at the Institute of Contemporary Arts Singapore and at the Solomon R Guggenheim Museum under the Guggenheim UBS MAP Global Art Initiative, where she presented the well-received exhibition on South and Southeast Asian Art titled No Country.
In 2011, she served as the curator for the Singapore Pavilion at the Venice Biennale. She was also appointed curator for the country's pavilion at this year's edition, before withdrawing from the team last year.
She will report to Ms Chong Siak Ching, deputy chair of the museum’s executive committee of the board and head of the Visual Arts Cluster overseeing SAM, the National Gallery of Singapore and Singapore Tyler Print Institute.
“I have no doubt that Dr June Yap’s coming in to lead SAM’s team of highly capable curators will take our research and programming of contemporary art into new territory,” said Ms Jane Ittogi, chairperson of the museum board, in a statement.
Before the announcement of Dr Yap’s appointment, the museum has been led by its senior curators, Joyce Toh and Tan Siuli. Its previous museum director, Dr Susie Lingham, stepped down last year after two years at the helm.
Responding to queries from Channel NewsAsia, the museum reiterated that while Dr Yap will be overseeing "content strategy and museum programming... other operational matters will be undertaken by other colleagues at SAM".
"The museum has been running with no interruption to programming and development plans under the guidance and support of the SAM Board Executive Committee, and during this time, there is no intention to continue the search for a museum director," it said, in a statement.