Arts House director resigns

Arts House director resigns
During Mr William Phuan's tenure, The Arts House championed local literary arts.

After nearly six years with The Arts House, Mr William Phuan, 43, has resigned as its director and will leave at the end of this month.

He told The Straits Times yesterday: "The Arts House celebrated its 10th anniversary last year. That was a high point, something we'd been working towards for years. I felt I had achieved something and it was time to think of what's next for me."

He declined to say more about his next move apart from saying he would remain in Singapore and still be part of the arts scene.

His replacement has not yet been named, but it is understood that his move will not affect The Arts House's programmes for this year.

His resignation comes nine months after The Arts House was shifted under the umbrella of a new holding company, Arts House Limited, which runs the annual Singapore Arts Festival and manages other arts spaces such as Goodman Arts Centre in Mountbatten and Aliwal Arts Centre in the Beach Road area. Ms Lee Chor Lin, chief executive of Arts House Limited, is expected to take a more prominent role in The Arts House's activities.

Mr Phuan, who is single, has a bachelor's degree in communications from Nanyang Technological University and completed his master's in film studies from New York University in 2003.

Before joining The Arts House in 2009, he worked for the then Ministry of Information, Communications and the Arts as assistant director, industry development. He also wrote for The Straits Times from 1997 to 2001. Between 2003 and 2008, he was with non- profit body Asian CineVision in New York as programme director of its annual Asian-American International Film Festival.

During his time at The Arts House, the arts venue made itself a champion of local literary arts. It held regular readings for local and visiting poets and authors, and started the ongoing Sing Lit 101 series of workshops to introduce local writing to wider audiences.

His team also curated two well-received fringe programmes of panel discussions, movie screenings and readings alongside the Singapore Writers Festival last year and in 2013. This November's edition of the festival will be centred on The Arts House.

This article was first published on Jan 8, 2015.
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