TURNING THREE: The Arts House Charts a New Direction with a New Chairman
Singapore, 26 March 2007 – The arts scene is set to see new areas of development when Ms. Jennie Chua assumes chairmanship of The Old Parliament House Ltd that manages The Arts House this March.
A current Director of NYU Tisch School Of The Arts, Asia, Ltd, Ms. Chua is all set to bring The Arts House into its next phase of growth as it turns three this year.
Opened in March 2004 as Singapore's only arts venue located in a major historical monument and still one of the few instances in the world where a former parliament house is transformed into an arts venue, The Arts House under Ms. Chua’s chairmanship will turn its focus on more collaborations with arts groups and organisations as well as engage in international cultural exchange with major capital cities in the world.
Ms. Chua takes over from Mr. Edmund Cheng who, as The Old Parliament House Ltd’s founding Chairman for five years from 2002 to 2007, oversaw the redevelopment of company. More significantly, Mr. Cheng has, during his tenure, established The Arts House as an arts organisation and venue whose primary mission is to support and develop artists and their works from and about Singapore.
Said Mr. Edmund Cheng who is also the Chairman of the National Arts Council and Design Singapore Council: “The past three years have been one in which The Arts House grew from an organisation posed with a series of challenges to one which has remained steadfast in its intent of serving as a support for Singapore artists while instilling business discipline into the arts so as to ensure its long term sustainability and viability.”
Now, as The Arts House celebrates its 3rd anniversary, its new chairman will take on a new focus, building on the foundations that had been laid over the past three years.
Said Ms. Chua who is also the Chairman of the Singapore Film Commission: "It is an honour to have been invited to work with the team at The Arts House who has been steadfast in its belief of creating a more conducive environment for our Singapore artists and that has done so much in so short a time. We will certainly continue and further work on the good things that has been achieved. And for the coming three years, we will engage in greater depth and be in more direct involvement with artists and other arts organisations by investing both artistic and economic resources in collaborations so as to further grow the arts and creative industries. This would also bring The Arts House one step further in developing its own capabilitiesso as to be able tofurther contribute to the industry."
Under Ms. Chua, the three new major collaborations that will see The Arts House committing more of its resources into the arts are:
- Collaboration with the National Arts Council (NAC): co-organising the biennial Singapore Writers Festival 2007
This is possibly the first time that a national arts festival will be co-organised by National Arts Council and another arts organisation. Here, The Arts House is committing both artistic and financial resources and will work together with the NAC into further developing the Singapore Writers Festival and nurturing the literary scene.
- Collaboration with the National Book Development Council of Singapore (NBDCS): co-organising the Singapore International Story Telling Festival
Already in partnership with the NBDCS for the Singapore Book Club and Writers' and Publishers' Network Night, The Arts House will work with the NBDCS in further establishing the brand of the Singapore International Story Telling Festival as well as bringing the programme out of Singapore to the region.
- Collaboration with Barang Barang Pte Ltd: Opening and developing The Shop
In this instance of arts-meets-business, The Arts House will be collaborating with well-known local lifestyle company Barang Barang Pte Ltd on a new retail outlet within The Arts House simply called The Shop which aims towards promoting the works of Singapore lifestyle designers as well as work towards creating a distinct branding for Singapore lifestyle design on the international market.
"Of equal significance too is that of developing cultural diplomacy with other cities," added Ms. Chua who is also Singapore's ambassador designated to the Slovak Republic, "We are looking at further refining and developing The Arts House's Spotlight Singapore programme which to date has seen success with partners in Hong Kong and Tokyo. This programme which marries the arts, economics and political diplomacy holds a lot of potential for Singapore to build deeper and more meaningful relationships with other cultures in the world."
The coming year will also see several other new initiatives from The Arts House, with greater focus on developing its own brands as well as focusing on developing new and interesting works. Watch this space!
The Arts House at the Old Parliament
Officially opened on 26 March 2004, The Arts House at the Old Parliament is the only gazetted historic government building which has been designated as an arts and heritage venue. The 180-year-old national monument was originally built in 1827 as a home for a Scottish merchant but subsequently became Singapore’s first Court House and former Parliament House. The Arts House is now a multidisciplinary arts centre that offers visitors the opportunity to create their own mix of activities from a broad spectrum of engaging, contemporary arts events, entertainment and lifestyle options. The Arts House is managed by The Old Parliament House Limited, a not-for-profit full-service arts management company limited by guarantee. For further information, please visit www.theartshouse.com.sg.
For media queries, please contact
See Ling Ling
Manager, Marketing Communications
The Old Parliament House Limited
1 Old Parliament Lane
Tel: 65 6332 6903