Diary of an NUS Museum Intern: Madeline 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!

In the next two posts, we have two interns from The Conservation Studio to share about their experiences and adventures in conservation! Madeline Chin is a Fine Arts Major from LASALLE College of the Arts.

My experience interning at The Conservation Studio has been a fun and fruitful learning journey. I have gained insights on how conservation operates and how much effort is put into restoring and preserving art.
I received the opportunity to work and learn in the conservation studio, through the goodwill of my lecturer, Lawrence. Though I am a Fine Arts major, I had ZERO knowledge about conservation. Through the course of my internship, I slowly picked up the skills, knowledge and patience that is required in conservation. We also learned a lot about the importance of the materials that were used to restore art works, ranging from paintings, to sculptures to embroidery.

One of the projects, my friend and I had the chance to work on was the restoration of Ng Eng Teng’s outdoor sculptures Wealth and Contentment. The effort put into restoring the sculptures were tremendous, standing on scaffoldings, and wearing helmets, cleaning the sculptures and painting them under the hot sun. All these work has definitely changed my views on these art works. In the future, I will take a second glance and think about the effort put into the conservation and care of these works.

What I enjoyed most during my internship was the working atmosphere and the friendly staff of NUS Museum, as well as the staff of The Conservation Studio. The work done in studio also gave me a great sense of satisfaction. The long hours spent in the studio, identifying problems, testing chemicals, cleaning and restoring the art works were all worth it when you witness the outcome of the restoration.

All in all, the past 3 months has been an eye opener for me, getting to know and learning about the different aspects of art and more about conservation. My initial appreciation towards art and museums has increased over the short span of my internship. This learning opportunity was hard to come by, therefore I appreciate everything that I’ve learned and the effort put in by the people around me to make this happen. I hope that in time to come, more interested people would have this opportunity to learn and experience what I have learned. 


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