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William Phuan

Adjunct Lecturer

Arts Management


Master of Arts, Cinema Studies,
New York University, New York

Bachelor of Arts (Hons), Communication Studies,
Nanyang Technological University, Singapore

Professional Diploma in Creative Entrepreneurship,
Emily Hill Creative Cooperative, Singapore


William Phuan is the Managing Director and co-founder of The Select Centre. The Select Centre is an arts non-for-profit organisation that aims to advance and facilitate the interflow of ideas and knowledge among different languages, cultures and disciplines through translation, adaptation and other forms of intercultural communication.

Prior to setting up The Select Centre, William was the Director of The Arts House at the Old Parliament from 2009 to January 2015. He oversaw The Arts House, which was turned from the former Parliament House in 2004 into an arts centre that focuses on writing, writers and ideas. The Arts House organises programmes and festivals that develop and promote Singapore literature and arts that reach out to all walks of life.

Programmes that William initiated at The Arts House included the Singapore International Translation Symposium; Singapore Writers Festival Fringe; Singapore Creative Writing Residency; Sing Lit 101; Cita Malay Literary and Culture series; Silver Writing; Text in the City, a nationwide app-based campaign to promote Singapore poetry; retrospective exhibitions on literary pioneers like Donald Moore and Yu Dafu; and a film retrospective of the Italian poet and filmmaker Pier Paolo Pasolini.

William spent seven years in New York as the Programme Director of the New York Asian American International Film Festival. He co-founded ContemporAsian at the Museum of Modern Art, a monthly film series that showcased independent films from Asia. At MoMA, William also curated a retrospective of the late Malaysian filmmaker Yasmin Ahmad, as well as Bright Stars, Big Cities: Chinese Cinema’s First Golden Era, 1922-1937 in December 2005 to celebrate the centennial of Chinese cinema.

William has close to 20 years of experience working in various sectors, including journalism, government policy planning, film festivals, and the non-for-profit arts sector in both the US and Singapore. He has sat on various panels, including the New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA) Electronic Media & Film Panel; and National Arts Council Singapore Panel for Cultural Medallion Award and Young Artist Award (Literary Arts).