Monday, 25 February 2013

Diary of an NUS Museum Intern: Suraendhiran s/o Ramadass

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!

Suraendhiran s/o Ramadass is a final year student in the BA Arts Management Programme at LASALLE College of the Arts.

Textures, Tones & Timbres: Art of Chong Fahcheong exhibition is now on at the NX Gallery of the NUS Museum and runs till 28 April 2013. I had the opportunity of working on this exhibition as part of my internship at the NUS museum. The scope of this internship included research for gallery text, preparation of artwork caption labels, vendor co-ordination and other exhibition logistics and administrative matters.

Apart from the aforementioned tasks, this internship also presented me with the opportunity to witness and experience the various processes involved in the organising of this exhibition. In the course of the internship, I worked closely with the curator of the exhibition, Ms Foo Su Ling, and also had the chance to observe first hand the artwork selection process, as well as to sit in during some of the exhibition-related discussions and decision-making processes.

One of the highlights of this internship was the opportunity to meet and interact with the artist – Canadian-based first generation Singaporean sculptor Chong Fahcheong. During the visits to his studio at Emily Hill, Mr Chong was able to share his intimate knowledge of sculpting as well as the various complexities involved in the process of working with different mediums such as jade, granite, marble and teak wood. It was an honour and privilege to get acquainted with Mr Chong and his artworks. 

Another insightful experience was the transportation and installation process of the exhibition. It allowed me to observe the intricacies involved in packing, moving and displaying of the artworks and it was interesting to note how some of the larger sculptures were handled. The fact that these works were made in a manner in which they could be disassembled into smaller pieces and reassembled again facilitated the handling of the artworks and the transportation process.

During the process of displaying the artworks for the exhibition, I learnt that the gallery layout, lighting, the interrelation between the various sculptures and the negative and positive spaces formed by the artworks all have to work cohesively in engaging the audience in a dialogue.

All in all, this internship presented me with the opportunity to gain valuable insight and knowledge on what went on behind-the-scenes in realizing Textures, Tones & Timbres: Art of Chong Fahcheong. While some get to see the final product or outcome in the form of the exhibition, this internship enabled me to experience and enjoy the entire journey from planning, to execution, to set-up, and finally to the official opening.

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