Objects Conservator for Contemporary Art

Posted on Wed, 01/17/2024 - 13:59

The Conservator will report to the Head of either Inorganic or Organic Objects team at the Heritage Conservation Centre and to the Director for Curatorial & Collections at the Singapore Art Museum. The Conservator is expected to conserve the National Collection and fulfil operational and administrative duties as part of exhibition and acquisition projects in accordance with procedures and project timelines and participate in selected projects and events as agreed by both institutions.


Artworks and artefacts that are part of the National Collection are under the custody of the National Heritage Board (NHB), Singapore. NHB preserves, presents and promotes the cultural heritage of Singapore, for the purpose of education, nation-building and cultural understanding.

The Heritage Conservation Centre (HCC) is an institution of NHB that supports the collecting and display activities of 12 institutions under NHB and the Visual Arts Cluster. It is located in a purpose-built facility for the storage and conservation of all artworks and artefacts under the care of NHB. The collections include socio-historical, cultural, ethnographic, modern and contemporary artwork materials. HCC Conservation Services is constituted by a team of over 30 conservators and comprises 6 specialisations: organic objects conservation, inorganic objects conservation, paintings conservation, paper conservation, textiles conservation, and conservation science.

Singapore Art Museum opened in 1996 as the first art museum in Singapore. Known as SAM, the museum presents contemporary art from a Southeast Asian perspective for artists, art lovers and the art curious. SAM’s mandate as a non-profit arts institution is to build one of the world's most important public collections of Southeast Asian contemporary art, to preserve, research, exhibit and connect the art and the artists to the public and future generations through thought-provoking exhibitions and meaningful programmes.

The successful candidate will be working under the supervision of the Head of Organic or Inorganic Objects Conservation section located at HCC, 32 Jurong Port Road, Singapore 619104 and Director for Curatorial and Collections at SAM, 39 Keppel Road, #01-02 (exhibition galleries) & #03-07 Tanjong Pagar Distripark (Corporate Office), Singapore 089065, according to project needs.


- Carry out conservation assessments, documentation and treatments on the National Collection, focusing on but not limited to contemporary art, according to HCC and NHB procedures, instructions and guidelines for exhibits, loans, maintenance and research projects.
- Manage exhibition projects as liaison officer to cover conservation-related as well as administrative aspects of exhibition preparations including preventive conservation. This will require close collaboration with various internal and external stakeholders. It involves working on SAM’s projects but not limited to it. This includes but is not limited to active involvement in exhibition planning and commissioning of new works including installation, de-installation, packing and storage and documentation.
- Support acquisition activities of institutions, including but not limited to SAM, and assess needs for future storage and display of acquisition candidates while working with all relevant stakeholders including collection managers and conservation colleagues. This includes actively contributing in the setting up of documentation systems to manage information on artist materials, interviews, installation requirements, display requirements, history of past uses, conservation records, storage requirements, resource planning for recurring access useful for sustainable preservation strategies.
- Provide preventive care for storage, transport, handling and display including advice on specialised mounting techniques, environmental settings for short- or long-term display or storage and any other requirements whenever necessary.
- Deliver administrative work necessary for the laboratory and office to function day-to-day such as procurement, meeting administration and maintenance of records.
- To take on supervisory and mentoring responsibilities for assigned reportee/s (if any).
- Participate in ad-hoc duties and projects assigned, including working groups, committees or events organised by HCC, NHB, and SAM.
- Potentially conduct specialised conservation research projects to enhance collection knowledge and artefact significance while working in collaboration with all relevant stakeholders, in Singapore, the region and/or internationally, and respecting the various perspectives involved.
- Contribute, as time permits, in developing the professional field of conservation and care of contemporary art collection in and outside HCC, using appropriate means ranging from participating in outreach activities to increase awareness, involvement, and support of various types of audience, to presenting papers at professional conferences and/or publishing articles in peer-reviewed journals.


- Candidate should have a Bachelor’s with Honours or a Master’s degree in Conservation from a recognized training institution, with 6 to 8 years of relevant practical experience primarily in conserving contemporary works of art. Specialization in object conservation is preferred. Experience in working with contemporary materials and/or variable media preservation and conservation, including digital media, is an advantage.
- Proven ability to and experience in carrying out comprehensive and complex conservation treatments/projects across diverse object types, including but not limited to contemporary works of art. Please provide documents which illustrate related decision-making process involving risk assessment, careful ethical consideration and proper collaboration with all relevant stakeholders, while demonstrating a high degree of manual dexterity and technical knowledge whenever required.
- Possess strong verbal and written communication skills in English.
- Be a strong team-player and work collaboratively and cooperatively with diverse stakeholders, including but not limited to curators, conservators, exhibition team, artists, collections managers, conservation scientists and designers.
- Familiarity and experience with contemporary artistic practices in Southeast Asia is preferred.
- Institutional experience, especially in the conservation and preservation of contemporary art, is preferred.
- Possess initiative, with the ability to multi-task, organise and prioritise work within a given timeframe.
- Ability to work unsupervised, as well as within a team.
- Ability to adapt in a multi-lingual and multi-racial environment.
- Keep up to date with current conservation development through self-directed learning and training. Evidence of continual professional development is strongly desirable.
- Ability and experience in guiding and training others in conservation skills and knowledge as well as general supervision.


- Monthly salary ranges from $4,800 to $6,300.
- Medical coverage and other advantageous benefits.

For interested applicants, please include a letter of motivation, a statement on your conservation experience in your resume, portfolio if available and send them to hr@singaporeartmuseum.sg by 1 March 2024. We regret that only short-listed candidates will be notified.