• News
  • Mar 14, 2024

Eugene Tan Named CEO of Singapore Museums

Portrait of EUGENE TAN. Courtesy Singapore Art Museum.

On April 1, Eugene Tan, the current director of the National Gallery Singapore (NGS) and Singapore Art Museum (SAM), will take over as CEO of both institutions. He was also appointed head of the Visual Arts Cluster (VAC), comprising NGS, SAM, and STPI gallery, following the conclusion of Chong Siak Ching’s decade-long tenure in the roles. 

Tan stated: “Having been part of National Gallery Singapore’s development over the past 11 years and Singapore Art Museum for five years, I am delighted to be given the opportunity to lead these two institutions into the future.” 

The incoming CEO was named director of NGS and SAM in 2013 and 2019, respectively. He is widely credited with expanding the museums’ permanent collections, overseeing large-scale Asia-focused exhibitions that challenged existing narratives (most recently, “Tropical: Stories from Southeast Asia and Latin America” at the Gallery, closing on March 24), and initiating partnerships with international institutions, including with Paris’s Centre Pompidou, Seoul’s National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, and Tokyo’s National Museum of Modern Art. 

Tan’s appointments were announced in conjunction with Chong Siak Ching’s retirement. Chong has held the positions since 2013. During that time, she helmed the 2015 launch of NGS, realizing its “vision of becoming a progressive art museum for the people, where it presents inclusive and diverse programming for all walks of life, while housing the world’s largest public collection of Singapore and Southeast Asian modern art,” as stated in a press release.

Before Tan joined NGS and SAM, he was recognized for curating major exhibitions such as the Singapore Pavilion at the 51st Venice Biennale in 2005 and the inaugural Singapore Biennale in 2006. More recently, in 2023, Tan curated a midcareer survey of Singaporean artist and filmmaker Ho Tzu Nyen, “Time & the Tiger,” at SAM, which received critical acclaim.   

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