Diary of an NUS Museum Intern: Gail Chin

Note: Diary of an NUS Museum Intern is a series of blog posts written by our interns about their experiences during the course of their internships. Besides working hard and fast in their cubicles, our interns have travelled to Bandung and Malacca, organised symposiums, waded through tons of historical research and pitched in during exhibition installations. It was definitely no ordinary internship for them! If you would like to become our next intern, visit our internship page for more information!

Gail Chin is a Fine Arts Major from LASALLE College of the Arts. She is currently on a three-month internship at The Conservation Studio. Read on to find out more about what she did!

Even though I have been practicing art making during my three years of fine arts education in Lasalle, little did I know how conservation is extremely vital to the survival of an artwork. Through my 3 months of internship under the conservation studio, it has enlightened me with the knowledge and skills of preservation, to better understand the materials that are being used to consolidate the artworks or artefacts and to become a more patient and analytical individual.

For my personal opinion of art, art is a creation of beauty, the artist is the eye of the public, we make art to create paths and enrich the creativity of the dull minds. However, the conservator is like the hidden eye of the artist, working as a visual and scientific individual, the conservator assist the artist in taking better care of their works. Before the conservator can start the verdict of the artwork, he must first analyse the condition of the deterioration, what the cause is, determining the proper treatment to be treated on to the artwork. I felt almost like a doctor, treating a patient with utmost love and care.

“ Conservation means the wise use of the earth and its resources for the lasting good” – Gifford Pinchot.

As the above saying goes, without conservation, many beautiful artworks would have been tarnished, history and truth would be forgotten for good. 

Thanks to the guidance of my lecturer, Lawrence and his colleague Claire, my three months in the Conservation Studio have been extremely enriching and unforgettable. It is a kind of knowledge and experience that I would not have been able to encounter elsewhere.

And most importantly the greatest lesson I have learned during my internship is to remember the generations of conservators who have been the saviour of many broken artefacts and artworks, with their careful and precise restoration, many beautiful historical works are being salvaged to further educate and inspire the many more generations to come.


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