[JOB VACANCY, SINGAPORE] Senior Conservator (Inorganic Objects), Heritage Conservation Centre at the National Heritage Board of Singapore

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National Heritage Board
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Application deadline: 
Friday, 25 November, 2022 - 07:45

The National Heritage Board (NHB) is recruiting a Senior Conservator (Inorganic Objects) for the Inorganic Objects Conservation team. The preferred areas of specialisation are inorganic materials with particular emphasis on ceramics and stone conservation. The conservation team is part of the Conservation Services at the Heritage Conservation Centre (HCC) under NHB. HCC Conservation Services is made up of a team of over 30 conservators and comprises 5 specializations: objects conservation, paintings conservation, paper conservation, textiles conservation and conservation science. Currently the objects conservation section constitutes the largest team and continues growing: to maintain organizational agility, the objects conservation team is re-organized into two sections, organic & inorganic, according to Collections needs.

Description of collections:
HCC Conservation Services is responsible for the care of artworks and artefacts in the National Collection which is under the custody of NHB Singapore. NHB preserves, presents and promotes the cultural heritage of Singapore, for the purpose of education, nation-building and cultural understanding.
HCC is an institution of NHB and resides in a purpose-built facility for storage and conservation of all artworks and artefacts under the care of NHB. The collections include socio-historical, cultural, ethnographic, modern and contemporary artwork/artefact materials.

Job Objectives/Purpose:
The selected candidate will report to HCC Chief Conservator and is expected to manage and lead the inorganic objects conservation team in achieving set targets and provide conservation-specific advice concerning the collections. To allow a smooth transition from one object section to two object sections (inorganic and organic), it is expected for the selected candidate to closely collaborate with various staff members from the Conservation Department. The candidate will also manage the team’s comprehensive and complex conservation work on collections with the main focus on but not restricted to inorganic material by applying, developing and researching on existing and new techniques and procedures.
Ensure the team’s smooth operation and delivery of exhibitions, loans and events at the institutions under NHB and Visual Arts Cluster by coordinating with both internal and external parties involved in accordance with procedures and project timelines.
Enhance collection knowledge and artefact significance through conservation research mainly targeted but not limited to ceramic and stone objects and in collaboration with relevant stakeholders in Singapore, the region and/or internationally.

Key Responsibilities & Duties:
• Function as the Head of Inorganic Objects Conservation in setting team directions and the day-to-day operations of the division including the selection, oversight and evaluation of conservators and interns.
• Lead the upgrading and maintenance of the conservation lab with regards to treatment of inorganic materials.
• Establish and monitor work plan and budgeting for the division in collaboration with other team leaders.
• Establish and implement conservation guidelines and standards of practice based on current ethics and principles to ensure a holistic approach to collection care and access within allocated resources. Provide advice on artefacts/artwork treatment options, collection display methods and maintenance of collections storage facilities.
• Intervene or make decisions when conflicts in preventive conservation methodologies and long-term sustainability of the collections arise.
• Identify collections at risk by researching on the factors that accelerate the deterioration of historical materials, interpret and evaluate results for Senior Management’s review, for immediate and long-term preservation planning.
• Identify, improve and execute extensive interventive conservation projects and treatments on artworks and artefacts from the National Collection according to HCC and NHB procedures, instructions and guidelines for exhibits, loans and events at the institutions of NHB and partners.
• Manage exhibition projects as liaison officer to cover conservation-related as well as administrative aspects of exhibition preparations including preventive conservation.
• Oversee sampling, examination, materials testing and analysis undertaken by conservators in the team.
• Conduct and lead specialized conservation research projects to enhance collection knowledge and artefact significance.
• Implement documentation and knowledge management processes to ensure that all documentation of the collection relevant to conservation and the conservation documentation are well-captured and recorded.
• Provide supervision, mentoring and training of staff to reinforce constructive work behaviour, performances and strengthen their knowledge and competencies. Identify training needs, develop training roadmaps, initiate, plan and execute training or sharing sessions within HCC to enable continuous improvement in skills and knowledge of conservators.
• Address and facilitate cross-museum/institution/division/departmental work as and when required; resolve cross-divisional conservation related issues and challenges between stakeholders.
• Manage the consolidated museum/institution forecast and support schedule and supervise the use of conservation resources allocated to stakeholders based on HCC’s entity-based capacity management system (ECM).
• Develop and conduct outreach activities to the public and special interest groups in collaboration with relevant stakeholders to generate greater awareness, interest and knowledge in preservation and conservation.
• Present conservation findings at local or international venues and publish articles on conservation techniques and practices.

• A Master’s Degree in Conservation from a recognized training institution. An equivalent proven experience will be considered.
• 10 to 15 years of relevant practical experience in inorganic objects conservation. Institutional/public experience is preferred.
• Experience in providing advice on complex conservation treatments, supervising staff members and managing projects (e.g., exhibitions).
• Preferably research work in the areas of ceramic and stone conservation, with proven dissemination of results.
• Ability to carry out comprehensive and complex treatments with a high degree of cultural sensitivity, manual dexterity and aesthetic sensitivity.
• 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.
• Familiarity and experience with cultural materials from South East Asia and Asia preferred.
• Possess a wide exposure in handling multi-cultural materials with sensitivity and demonstrate relevance in making sound contextual judgements in applying conservation principles and practices, while collaboratively working with all relevant stakeholders.
• Excellent verbal and written communication skills that facilitate teamwork and the ability to work across departments and institutions. Fluency in English is required.
• Possess initiative with ability to multi-task, organise and prioritise work in given timeline.
• Ability to lead, coach and impart conservation skills and knowledge effectively as well as being a strong team player.
• Ability to adapt in a multi-lingual and multi-racial environment.

Work Location:
The Senior Conservator (Inorganic Objects) shall mostly be based at HCC, 32 Jurong Port Road, Singapore 619104.

Salary Range: est $6,000 - $8,000 (Singapore Dollar) with attractive Relocation and Benefits Package

To apply, please click HERE to submit your application.
All interested applicants should follow the instructions at the Careers@Gov website to submit their application.
Deadline for submission is 24 November 2022.

Please direct any questions to:
Birte Koehler
Senior Conservator (Objects)
Heritage Conservation Centre