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Singapore Art Museum Suspends Search for New Director and CEO

Following a yearlong search for candidates to fill its top two leadership positions, the Singapore Art Museum has decided not to appoint a CEO and executive director, Reena Devi of reports. After serving less than a year, Leng Tshua stepped down as CEO of the museum in June 2016, and director Susie Lingham resigned in March 2016.

“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,” a spokesperson for the institution said. “We will strengthen the team as and when necessary to ensure that SAM continues to deliver on its vision and mission.”

The announcement was made shortly after the museum appointed June Yap as its new curatorial director starting September 1. Yap will report to Chong Siak Ching, the deputy chair of the executive committee of the board and head of the Visual Arts Cluster, which oversees the National Gallery Singapore, Singapore Art Museum, and Singapore Tyler Print Institute.

Its decision to suspend the search for new top executives raised concerns among members of the arts community. Tanya Michele Amador, managing director of arts consultancy Amador Arts Projects, said, “I question how it is possible that any institution desiring to put its best foot forward in representing Singapore could run itself with one person expected to wear so many hats.” Kok Heng Leun, a nominated Member of the Parliament for Arts, added that he found it “baffling” that the museum chose not to fill these positions, which he called the most “important roles in the institution.”