The Heritage Conservation Centre (HCC) is excited to share the recent decision taken by the National Heritage Board (NHB) to broaden the scope of the National Collection of Singapore. The National Collection currently includes socio-historical, cultural, ethnographic, modern, and contemporary artworks and artefacts, spanning a wide range of material types. From 2023, design and archaeological collections will be added, with a major expansion of the maritime archaeological collection already planned. Consequently, HCC is now recruiting to address the associated collection needs and build its adequate professional capability.
HCC is an institution of NHB and supports the collecting and display activities of 12 institutions under NHB and the Visual Arts Cluster. HCC’s main mission is to care for the National Collection of Singapore, facilitate its current and future access and promote its use while enhancing its cultural significance. HCC is located in a purpose-built facility that serves as the centralised storage and conservation labs for the National Collection of Singapore.
Currently, the Conservation Services Department at HCC is made up of a team of 35 conservators and comprises 5 conservation specializations organised in sections: Objects, Paintings, Paper, Textiles, and Conservation Science. The Objects Section constitutes the largest team and is set to grow further. To maintain organisational agility and to address collection needs, the Objects Section will be re-organised into two sections in the near future: Organic Objects and Inorganic Objects. The conservation of maritime archaeological material will come under the purview of the Inorganic Objects Section.
To address the associated collection needs and build its adequate professional capability, HCC is now recruiting 2 Assistant Conservator(s)/ Conservator(s) to join the already existing specialists in the conservation of inorganic artefacts.
We seek candidates with a specialisation in the conservation of inorganic materials or in archaeological conservation, with a preference for specialisations in ceramic, stone, or maritime archaeological conservation. The expected respective roles and duties alongside the requirements for each position are described below. The description is made with a focus on, but not limited to, inorganic materials.
· Provides expert opinion about the condition of proposed acquisitions whenever relevant.
· Manage exhibition projects, liaising between stakeholders to cover conservation-related and administrative aspects of exhibition preparations, including preventive conservation.
- Provide advice on collection display methods and maintenance of collections storage facilities to staff at museums/institutions, the HCC Collections Management Department, and other stakeholders.
- Establish and implement conservation guidelines and standards of practice based on current ethics and principles to ensure a holistic approach to collections care and access within allocated resources while working with all relevant internal and external stakeholders.
- Identify, formulate, and execute complex interventive conservation projects and treatments on artworks and artefacts from the National Collection while working with all relevant stakeholders and according to HCC and NHB procedures.
- Implement and execute documentation and knowledge management processes to ensure that all conservation-related documentation is comprehensive and includes all relevant sources; well-captured and recorded; adequately accessible and properly preserved.
- Contribute to and/or conduct conservation research projects to enhance collection knowledge and artefact significance, and/or support its current and future access & use. Whenever relevant and possible, build partnerships locally, regionally and/or internationally, with main stakeholders including source-community and local community of users.
- Present conservation findings and research results at local or international venues and publish articles on conservation techniques and practices as time allows.
- Whenever possible contribute to build &/or consolidate the professional capability in conservation and collection care – inside and outside of HCC-, by organising &/or collaborating to knowledge sharing initiatives, internally &/or externally, at national and regional levels.
- Whenever possible, develop and conduct outreach activities for the public and special interest groups in collaboration with relevant stakeholders to generate greater awareness, interest and knowledge in preservation and conservation.
- Bachelor and /or Master in Conservation from a recognised training institution or equivalent proven experience will be considered.
- A relevant practical experience of preferably minimum 6 years in inorganic objects conservation or archaeological conservation. Expertise in ceramic, stone, or maritime archaeological conservation will be an advantage. Institutional/ public sector experience is preferred. Candidate with less experience may be considered for the role of Assistant Conservator. Candidate without a specialisation in maritime archaeological conservation should be prepared to develop, with the support of the team, the relevant capabilities and competencies necessary to fulfil key responsibilities and duties relating to the care of the maritime archaeological collection.
- Proven experience in providing advice on complex conservation treatments, supervising staff members with lesser experience, and managing projects (e.g. exhibitions).
- Experience in conducting research work in the areas of conservation of inorganic materials or archaeological conservation, with proven dissemination of results. Record demonstrating scholarship and publications will be advantageous.
- Ability to carry out comprehensive and complex treatments with a high degree of cultural &/or aesthetic sensitivity and manual dexterity and while working under limited supervision.
- Ability to develop and execute heritage science and conservation research in line with HCC’s research strategies around sustainability.
- Keep up to date with current conservation development through self-directed learning and training. Evidence of continual professional development.
- Experienced in handling multi-cultural materials with sensitivity and sound contextual judgements in applying conservation principles and practices, while working collaboratively with relevant stakeholders. Familiarity and experience with cultural materials from South-east Asia and Asia preferred.
- Possess initiative with the ability to multi-task, organise, and prioritise work within a given timeline.
- Ability to coach and impart conservation skills and knowledge effectively.
- A strong team player with good interpersonal and communication skills and the ability to work collaboratively across departments and institutions. An effective communicator and enthusiastic networker who thrives in the highly collaborative, dynamic environment of a complex organization.
- Ability to adapt in a multi-lingual and multi-racial environment.
- Excellent verbal and written communication skills. Fluency in English is required.
- Proficiency in Microsoft Office.
*All applicants will be notified whether they are shortlisted within 6 weeks of the closing date of this job posting.