Senior Conservator and Head of Section (Paintings Conservation)

Job Summary

Heritage Conservation Centre/National Heritage Board
Heritage Conservation Centre in Singapore
Contract Type
6000 SGD
Closing date

Job Details

Senior Conservator and Head of Section (Paintings Conservation), Heritage Conservation Centre

The Heritage Conservation Centre (HCC) is an institution of the National Heritage Board (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 comprises 6 conservation specializations organised in sections: Inorganic Objects, Organic Objects, Paintings, Paper, Textiles, and Conservation Science. HCC is now recruiting a Senior Conservator to lead the Paintings conservation section.

Key Responsibilities & Duties

Management and supervisory functions

As the Head of the Section, you will report to the Chief Conservator and is expected to:

Set the team direction in alignment with the priorities defined at department and institution levels while overseeing the day-to-day operations of the section.
Manage section staffing, including the selection, oversight and evaluation of conservators and interns.
Supervise the section, mentoring and training of staff to reinforce constructive work behaviour and performance. This requires nurturing staff development while working in close collaboration with relevant departments of the NHB to identify individual and sectional training needs.
Establish and monitor yearly work plans and administer the budget allocated to the section, according to HCC and NHB procedures and in concertation with the other Heads of conservation Section and the Chief Conservator.
Support Chief Conservator and contribute to manage HCC Conservation Department and facilitate cross-departmental/museum/institution/divisional work while closely working with the other Heads of Sections and/or leaders of the relevant working groups.
Assist HCC Director and its senior managers to manage HCC, as and when required.
Represents HCC when collaborating and/or negotiating with other institutions while advancing its reputation as a leader on conservation matters, locally, regionally and internationally.
Conservation related functions

Oversee the collection care support and the conservation treatments undertaken by the section, provide advice on artefact/artwork treatment options, and oversee sampling, examination, and materials analyses undertaken by conservators in the team and other stakeholders.
Oversee that the establishment of conservation guidelines and standards of practice are adequately based on current ethics and principles and that their implementation are timely and adequately implemented to reach holistic approach to collections care and access within allocated resources.
Supervise and drive research activities in the section.While working with the other Conservation Services Managers and relevant stakeholders, you are expected to set the sectional research priorities and to contribute to formulate an active, influential, and coherent program of research for the conservation department in accordance with the collection needs, its expected use, the overall institutional, geographical, and climatic context of HCC and Singapore alongside the urgency to reduce energy consumption considering the global climate crisis.
Promote and supervise the outreach activity of the section while working in close collaboration with the other Conservation Services Managers and relevant stakeholders to consolidate the professional capability in conservation and collection care - inside and outside of HCC and at local, regional and international levels.
As required,
- provide expert opinion about the condition of proposed acquisitions.

- manage exhibition projects, liaising between stakeholders to cover conservation-related and administrative aspects of exhibition preparations, including preventive conservation as necessary;

- 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;

- 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, initiate collaborations and 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.

- 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.


A Master's Degree in Paintings Conservation from a recognised training institution. Equivalent proven experience will be considered.
A relevant practical experience of minimum 10 years in paintings conservation and at least 5 years of proven leadership experience Institutional/ public sector experience is preferred.
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 paintings conservation with proven dissemination of results. Solid record demonstrating scholarship and publications will be advantageous.
Ability to carry out comprehensive and complex treatments with a high degree of cultural and/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.
Broad understanding of modern conservation practice and its integration with the historical study of objects, proficiency in laboratory methods and familiarity with analytical instrumentation
Keep up to date with current conservation development through self-directed learning and training. Evidence of continual professional development.
Possess an exposure to 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 lead, 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 and Excel.

Work Location
The conservator shall mostly be based at HCC, 32 Jurong Port Road, Singapore 619104.

Salary Range: est $6,000 - $9,000 (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 website to submit their application.

Deadline for submission is 18 July 2024

Should you have any questions or difficulties with the application, please contact:

Phyllis Koh

Senior Conservator (Paper)

Heritage Conservation Centre