Led by director Kennie Ting, the museum marked the shift towards decorative art with the opening of its new Fashion and Textiles, and Jewellery galleries last April.
Step inside Kennie Ting’s office at the Asian Civilisations Museum (ACM) and at first glance, it looks just like any other workspace with rows of books on the shelves and stacks of documents on his desk. But what got our attention is the rack of clothes by the door, where the ACM director’s personal collection of batik shirts by Indonesian big names Danar Hadi and Iwan Tirta, and traditional Chinese tangzhuang tops (including a modern interpretation by veteran Singapore designer Laichan), hang alongside three-piece Western suits.
Clearly, his eye for beautiful things steeped in Asian heritage would explain why Ting is the best person tasked to lead the museum’s shift towards Asian antiquities and decorative art. “The focus of the ACM collection has always been on cross-cultural or hybrid art, bringing together elements of East and West, and East and East, while anchoring Singapore’s place within the context of Asia,” shares Ting, who is also director of the Peranakan Museum