NAC Appoints New Head of Singapore Arts Festival


NAC Appoints New Head of


Singapore Arts Festival


The National Arts Council announces that Mr Low Kee Hong will be appointed as General Manager of the Singapore Arts Festival with effect from 1 October 2009. He will be responsible for the programming and management of the Festival supported by the current festival team. With Mr Low's move from a similar position at the Singapore Biennale, the Council will appoint henceforth the Singapore Art Museum of the National Heritage Board, to organise and manage future Biennales. The curatorial and visual arts programing expertise of the museum will enrich and build on the achievements of the Council in previous biennales.  It is also in line with the Council's strategy of leveraging other organisations with the core expertise to organise major events as it focuses on national policies for the development and promotion of the arts in Singapore.


Mr Low joined the Council as General Manager of the Singapore Biennale in March 2005. Under his leadership, the Singapore Biennale garnered critical success for the first two editions in 2006 and 2008. He introduced a strong outreach and educational programme in the Biennale which actively engaged the public in contemporary art. As part of Singapore Biennale, Mr Low was involved in curating and served as a consultant to property developers in commissioning iconic permanent public art projects.


Prior to his appointment at NAC, he was the Associate Artistic Director of TheatreWorks (Singapore) where he introduced a new genre of creative works that redefined the boundaries between art, science and “live” performance.  One of the collaborations that emerged from this hot-housing process titled Balance: Space • Time • Movement (August 2003) won him the Best Director and Best Set Design awards at the 4th Straits Times Life! Theatre Awards. The work also received the Best Original Script award.


Mr Low has toured extensively to Europe, Japan, Hong Kong, Australia and Indonesia on the international arts festival circuit. He was also actively involved in arts discourse, serving as writer, researcher and Associate Director on several regional projects including the Continuum Asia Project/Mekong diaries in Laos, the Flying Circus Project and the DVDseries on Southeast Asian Performing Arts and Artists.


As a scholar, his on-going research interests range from cultural policy, urban planning and architecture to performance studies, as well as vernacular and contemporary culture and arts of Southeast Asia.  A former tutor at the Department of Sociology at the National University of Singapore, Mr Low’s academic writings have been published by Routledge and other critical journals.


Said Mr Benson Puah, Chief Executive Officer, NAC: “The Singapore Arts Festival is a festival for all people and a celebration of the arts and life. This year's Festival resonated with the public. The direction for next year will be to further strengthen this bond by exploring opportunities to energise the wider community even more. We will forge more partnerships with other organisations to leverage on their strengths, networks and expertise in order to reach out to more people in different ways. As for our artists, the festival will continue to be a platform for development and performance and we hope to have more channels for dialogue with them.


As a practitioner, researcher and administrator, Kee Hong has a panoramic view of the arts scene. His vast experience and network will enable him to bring fresh perspectives and new energies to the festival.”


Said Mr Low: “I am happy and honoured to be given the opportunity to helm the Singapore Arts Festival.  I have been involved in the performing arts for many years, so taking up this new role in the Festival is like returning to my roots, but with a new perspective. For more than 30 years, the Festival has been playing an important role as the premier performing arts festival in Singapore. I am excited with the new possibilities in charting a new direction for the festival which will strongly connect with our artists and audiences.”