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ASIASOCIETYDIRECTORTan Boon Hui | Image Courtesy - National Heritage

The Asia Society, which has been without a museum director for over a year, and was widely known to have interviewed over 100 applicants, has just named Tan Boon Hui, from the Singapore Arts Museum, to the post. Known for his work with South East Asian contemporary art and artists, it should make for an interesting change of focus for a mostly traditional museum. Former Director Melissa Chiu, is now at the Hirschorn, where she is Director of the museum and sculpture garden.

The Society was founded by John D. Rockefeller in 1956 in New York, as both a place to show his rather fabulous collection of Asian Art, and a place to introduce Asian culture to the United States (and vice-versa). In 1980, it moved to its current home, in the Edward Larabee Barnes designed building, on Park and 70th St.

Known for more traditionally Asian work , the museum started collecting contemporary Asian art in 2007, and has recently been seen to be picking up the pace of contemporary exhibitions. It currently holds work, and has exhibitions from, more than 30 Asian and Pacific countries, and is one of the highlights of Asian Art Week in NY.

The Asia Society itself has several US and International locations. It opened its latest outpost, a permanent home in Hong Kong in the Jockey Club Former Explosives Magazine designed by Tod Williams/Billie Tsien in 2012. Financed entirely by local donations ($51.5 million worth), it is, as Billie Tsien said, “A horizontal building in a vertical town”, and completely wonderful. Their upcoming exhibition, running through 3 January 2016 is called “Bat Cave” and features…well, bats.