Monday, 7 April 2014

Call For Internship Applications - May to Aug 2014


Positions Available

1.  T.K. Sabapathy Collection Curatorial Intern

At present, the Prep Room at NUS Museum hosts a collection of artworks and books donated by Singaporean art historian T.K. Sabapathy. While these books would eventually form a part of the Museum’s Resource Gallery and Library come early 2015, it is hoped that the collection could be mobilised to facilitate a range of thinking around the art history of Southeast Asia and its various problematics. Particularly, what does one mean by the term ‘Southeast Asia’ in the first place, and how does one approach, define and contain an art history of Southeast Asia in lieu of globalisation and its ‘discontents’. At large is also the need to perhaps re-examine the history of the NUS Museum: a museum charged with the facilitation of research around the arts and cultures of Southeast Asia. 

This internship will require the intern to work extensively through the collection donated by T.K. Sabapathy, creating substantial field notes and annotations that will build towards a productive reorganisation of the materials, and engage with the potentials and implications of curating as an alternative or parallel form of (re)writing art history.

Requirements
  • An interest in looking at museums and curating as sites of critical discourse (any previous knowledge or research in museum studies, art history or curatorial studies is highly recommended, but not a requirement).
  • A strong interest for Southeast Asia not only as a highly-heterogenous and problematic entity but also a critical site from which to recast much of today’s global vernacular.

Duration
12 May – 1 August

Stipend
$500 per month

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2. Archaeology Sherds Research Intern

This internship requires the intern to assist in documenting the materials in NUS Museum’s Sherd Library and conduct research in relation to the refresh of the display. The intern will also participate in conducting research for a new exhibitionary project by developing a bibliography of archaeological research on Myanmar ceramics in the following categories: production sites, habitation sites and types of wares.

Requirements
  • Familiar with the history of Singapore and its neighbouring countries from the pre-colonial to colonial period
  • Interested in the study of archaeological ceramics sherds as a way to explore the social, cultural, political and economic histories of the region
  • Meticulous with a keen attention for details

Duration
12 May – 1 August

Stipend
$500 per month

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3. Resource Gallery Curatorial Intern

This internship will give interns a broad overview into the curatorial process from objects research and selection, to exhibitions planning and display. The intern will be required to assist in research, producing labels and captions, compilation of primary and secondary source materials. The outcome of the tasks will be the installation of the new Resource Gallery and Library at the NUS Museum.

Requirements
  • Strong interest in curatorial and behind the scenes work, willing to get hands dirty
  • Mature, dependable and responsible
  • A general interest in Asian art history will be an advantage
  • Suitable for second year students and above
Duration
12 May – 1 August

Stipend
$500 per
month

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4. Museum Outreach Intern

This internship requires the intern to work with the Museum Outreach team in developing communications and marketing plans for the Museum’s forthcoming Resource Gallery and Library, developing exhibitionary-related programmes and content for general programmes such as the Malaya Black and White film screening series, develop and source for partnership opportunities with student groups/societies/residences, and assist in managing and coordinating Outreach events (may include weekday evenings and weekends).

Requirements
  • Pleasant, outgoing personality
  • Willing to share with the NUS community and beyond about the NUS Museum
  • Good organisational and time-management skills
Duration
12 May – 1 August

Stipend
$500 per month

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5.   Baba House Outreach Intern

This internship requires the intern to familiarise themselves with the NUS Baba House and the Peranakan Chinese culture with the objective of conducting heritage tours. The intern will also assist with tour logistics and Museum and Baba House Outreach activities.

Requirements
  • Interest in Peranakan Chinese culture
  • Articulate and comfortable talking to an audience
  • Positive attitude towards learning and suggestions for improvements
  • Able to work independently and collaboratively

Duration
12 May – 1 August

Stipend
$500 per
month


How to Apply

Please return a copy of the internship application form with a copy of your CV and a recent essay/writing sample via email to museum@nus.edu.sg with the subject header “NUS Museum Internship Programme” by 16 April 2014. Late applications will not be considered.

For more information about the NUS Museum Internship Programme, please contact Michelle Kuek at michellekuek@nus.edu.sg or call 6516-8428.

Please note that only shortlisted candidates will be notified. Interviews for shortlisted candidates will be held from 21-25 April.

Monday, 3 March 2014

Diary of an NUS Museum Intern: Chong Yuan Wen

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. If you would like to become our next intern, visit our internship page for more information!

3 Temasek Junior College students joined the museum for the month of January as part of their Wonder-Observe-Weave! (WOW!) programme. Read on to find more about their experiences!

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The internship in NUS Museum for the past 1 month has been filled with many new enriching experiences. Foremost my opinions about the NUS Museum has changed, this new experience unveils that NUS Museum is not filled with NUS’s history or just another history museum, in fact contrary to that, it is filled with different art exhibits. In which, some of the displays like the Raffles Light House exhibit is completely different from other normal art museum displays. 

Continuing through the internship, where the main focus was to publicize the late Mr. Ng’s work in Temasek Junior College (TJC), which also allowed me to appreciate the valuable art pieces that has been neglected in TJC and made me ponder about the future of these treasures in an ever changing environment.


Thirdly, this internship has also allowed me to test out my interpersonal skills, which are not usually done in school, since now I have to communicate with different types of people to work out agreements and get information needed. Last but not the least every day in the museum can be said to be a new discovery, be it in terms of getting there, trying out new food, exploring the campus or learning a new office skill, all of which has positively build up my experience in the NUS Museum. Indeed this experience has overall been great, and I am thankfully for the chance to be an intern at NUS Museum.



Monday, 24 February 2014

Diary of an NUS Museum Intern: Chua Kai Shyan

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. If you would like to become our next intern, visit our internship page for more information!

3 Temasek Junior College students joined the museum for the month of January as part of their Wonder-Observe-Weave! (WOW!) programme. Read on to find more about their experiences!

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Our main focus on our attachment here at NUS Museum was famous artist Mr Ng Eng Teng. What made Mr Ng and his artworks especially distinctive from the rest, was the fact that we had two of his precious artworks located on our very own college! Throughout our internship we were able to have the chance to read through archives of his works and also research on the artist himself. It really is a great honour to be learning about such a famous and respectable artist.

We had two tasks related to Mr Ng Eng Teng and his artworks. The first was to write an article for our local school publication, the Temasek Times, while the other was to plan and carry out a school exhibition to help our friends in college learn more about Mr Ng, his artworks (especially those located in school!), and about NUS Museum. The amount of discussions and planning that went into completing these two tasks were endless. It really made me realize how much more important the planning process was compared to executing it.

Another thing I enjoyed was researching on the history of Mr Ng Eng Teng’s artworks in our college, the mural The Light of Life and the sculpture Pioneers of Temasek. Tracing our college’s history back to more than 30 years ago was no easy feat. It was obvious that the information we were missing about the artworks would not be available on the Internet. Who knew the answer to our questions could be found within our own college, and no – not in the school archives -- but actually from one of our college’s teachers! I was so grateful that a member of our college’s pioneer batch was still teaching here. He was able to share with us lots of information and stories that we would never have been able to find anywhere else. It really was an eye-opener, knowing that in this modern age of technology and the Internet, we can still learn much from stories told from those above us.


Holding the exhibition in college was indeed very fun and enjoyable. It was a great feeling having people come up to our booth in school and ask us about Mr Ng and his artworks. Knowing how some students graduate from college without even knowing the existence of Mr Ng’s artworks in college, we knew we could at least make a difference and educate others to help them know how special our school actually is. I also enjoyed making a short video about Mr Ng’s works in college! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8OAQgI3CLTQ


Interning here at NUS Museum also gave us the chance to visit the Baba House. I especially loved this tour because the Baba House enabled visitors to experience how typical Peranakan homes looked and functioned in the 1920s, in such an intimate way. The tour guide was very professional and led the tour very well. Even though she was just a volunteer tour guide, she knew everything there was to know about Peranakan culture, and even know about how their lives were back then. Her passion really is something I look up to, and I really respect people like her who give their all in sustaining culture and going a step further to help others learn more about it.


Monday, 17 February 2014

Diary of an NUS Museum Intern: Joellyn Boey

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. If you would like to become our next intern, visit our internship page for more information!

3 Temasek Junior College students joined the museum for the month of January as part of their Wonder-Observe-Weave! (WOW!) programme. Read on to find more about their experiences!

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I had a really fulfilling experience during these 3 weeks at NUS Museum. Through this attachment, I was able to find out more about the artist Ng Eng Teng and the history of his art pieces in our college, Temasek Junior College (TJC). Also, I was able to take a look at the 4 exhibitions offered by the NUS Museum and plan an exhibition at TJC.


Our first project was to write an article about the sculpture Pioneers of Temasek and the murals Light of Life. Both art pieces are currently in TJC and were created by Ng Eng Teng, an artist that is very significant to the art scene in Singapore. I am glad that I was able to know of such a great artist who has his sculptures all over Singapore, such as the Mother and Child sculpture and The Explorer sculpture. This project gave me a chance to know more about the history of Ng’s art works in TJC. Many students and staff walk pass the murals and sculpture everyday but no one really knows the meaning behind the art pieces. I find this a real pity as the sculpture and mural hold so much meaning to the college.

 

The second project was to plan a travelling exhibition to TJC, which was to promote NUS Museum and Ng Eng Teng’s art pieces in TJC. At first, I was overwhelmed as I had never done this sort of work before. After going to look at the exhibitions offered at NUS Museum and with some help from our mentor, our group was able to get an idea of how we should plan the museum. What I learnt from planning the exhibition was that detailed planning is very important as even the tiniest detail can make a difference. On the day of the exhibition, we were surprised to find that people are actually interested in Ng Eng Teng and his art works. This made the job of our group much easier and we were more confident in promoting to them.


Our group really worked well together during these 3 weeks, which makes my experience here at NUS Museum even better. We would brainstorm together for ideas or think of solutions to problems that we faced. We also learned some important work skills such as learning to operate the photocopy machine and transcribing.


Above all, I found that I have grown to love museum exhibitions. It was very interesting to walk through the exhibitions at NUS Museum as I learn so much about the art history of Singapore. The NUS Baba House, a heritage home run by NUS Museum, also raised my interests in the Peranakan culture.  Exhibitions give us so much information and present them in a way that we would be able to understand. 

Monday, 10 February 2014

Diary of an NUS Museum Intern: Flora Toh

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. If you would like to become our next intern, visit our internship page for more information!

As part of our December 2013 cohort of interns, 3 undergraduate interns from NUS joined us for five weeks trawling through books, papers and catalogue conducting research for the In Search of Raffles' Light exhibition and the TK Sabapathy Collection of books and artworks. 

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Flora Toh is a fourth-year student, currently working on her honours thesis, at the Department of Geography at NUS FASS. She worked on the TK Sabapathy Collection of books and artworks, conducting curatorial research and cataloguing the collection.


“[M]useums have long been regarded as cathedrals to material culture, places where visitors come to worship the revered collections on display.”
Hilary Geoghegan (2010: 1466)

As with Geoghegan, museums do and perhaps always will hold me rapt. From the outset, museums have never had humble origins; they began in wealthy Western homes as collections of curiosities that were of interest not just in themselves, but how they reconfigured their sites, curators and viewers. While visits to museums have shown me how this continues to be so, the past month at the NUS Museum has revealed that in many ways, museums are increasingly emerging against the grain of didactic intellectualism and expertise as sites of immense possibilities and futures. Šola (1992: 394) suggested that we may then “tal[k] about the future of our entire past: how will it proceed, in what shape and with what purposes”; where the past, present and future may take on productive and exciting synergies.

At the close of my second year, I visited the NUS Museum for the first time for a tour of Camping and Tramping through the Colonial Archive: The Museum in Malaya. The exhibition, curiously, threw the museum in itself into sharp relief by considering its role in knowledge mobilisation and production in colonial Malaya. While extremely short, the visit left an intense impression that has remained with me in my explorations of heritage and collective memory in my own undergraduate research. This single visit is also the reason I leapt at this internship opportunity: I sought answers to the many questions I had left with previously.

Adventures in the prep-room:
An exciting, exploratory and unpredictable space where “things…may or may not happen”

Filipovic (2013: 78) posited that the exhibition is a “site where deeply entrenched ideas and forms can come undone, where the ground on which we stand is rendered unstable”. This as I have found, is perhaps the premise of the prep-room, where I spent most of my internship working in. With another intern, Syairah, we sifted through a collection of books donated by Singaporean art historian T.K. Sabapathy. In attempting to use the repository in a meaningful and productive way, we explored the possibilities of curating a book collection to flesh out the shifting ideas surrounding definitions of Southeast Asia and modernity. In 1972, John Berger, in his highly acclaimed series ‘Ways of Seeing’, suggested that a painting becomes a corridor, connecting the moment it represents with the moment at which you are looking at it. We discovered that encountering the books was a similarly inter-subjective endeavour. As such, we delved into the tension that seemingly lies between the curator and the museum visitor: How far was too far? Were we leaving room for the visitor to tell his or her own story? Or more interestingly, would this dialogue between visitor and curator ever cease?

Realising that curating could be and might always have been about conversation –
not just between curator and object, but also with visitors.

The five weeks at the NUS Museum seemed too short, but was extremely rewarding and fulfilling. Apart from learning more about curatorship and museology, I also got fascinating glimpses into conservation work, museum outreach, exhibition installation and the immense work that is invested into developing an exhibition. This is in no small part due to the wonderful people I had the fortune to meet and talk to over the course of my internship – fellow eager interns Syairah, Clarence, Natalie and Alissa; my inspiring, patient and passionate mentors Kenneth and Michelle; and of course the extremely warm and helpful staff at the NUS Museum.

It perhaps is unsurprising that I left the museum with more questions than answers. 18 months on from my first encounter and hopefully not too belatedly, I am arriving at my first answer yet. The NUS Museum is precisely the ‘conversational’ prep-room. It is precisely the inter-subjective artwork or book collection. Things may or may not happen here; and that, I certainly revere.

References

Filipovic, E. (2013). What is an exhibition? In Hoffman, J. (ed) Ten Fundamental Questions of Curating. Milan: Mousse Publishing.

Geoghegan, H. (2010). Museum geography: exploring museums, collections and museum practice in the UK. Geography Compass4(10), 1462-1476.

Šola, T. (1992). The future of museums and the role of museology. Museum Management and Curatorship, 11(4), 393-400.


Monday, 3 February 2014

Diary of an NUS Museum Intern: Syairah Azimi

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. If you would like to become our next intern, visit our internship page for more information!

As part of our December 2013 cohort of interns, 3 undergraduate interns from NUS joined us for five weeks trawling through books, papers and catalogue conducting on research for the In Search of Raffles' Light exhibition and the TK Sabapathy Collection of books and artworks. 

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Syairah Azimi is a fourth year student from NUS FASS, pursuing a major in Political Science and a minor in History. Alongside Flora Toh, she worked on the T.K. Sabapathy Collection of Books and Artworks, conducting research and cataloguing them to make sense of this new collection. The T.K. Sabapathy Collection of Books and Artworks is currently located in the prep-room on the Lobby level of the museum.


I spent my last semester break as an NUS undergraduate doing an internship with NUS Museum, a small building tucked away in the south of NUS Campus. I was attached to Assistant Curator Kenneth Tay as a Curatorial Intern where I engaged with the present collection of publications and artworks from Singapore’s foremost art historian, curator and critic, T.K. Sabapathy. I was blessed with the opportunity to immerse myself in the different aspects of museum industry. My experience can be summed up in these 3Cs: Collection, Curatorship and Camaraderie.


Collection

Museums are the acquirers and holders of the stored material culture of the past. My preconceived opinion of museum collections was limited to objects that confer aesthetic pleasure such as artworks, paintings, sculptures, relics and ceramics. This notion altered as I delved deeper into my internship that mainly involved working with publications. 


Arriving in uniform storage boxes from the house of Mr T.K. Sabapathy, the collection I dealt with was nothing short of diverse. His present collection of publications spans disciplines and subjects such as Southeast Asia historiography, canonical accounts of Western Art History, architecture, cultural studies, artists’ monograph and exhibition catalogue. These once private treasures will become public resources to facilitate the research of Southeast Asian modern and contemporary art. 

Curatorship

With over 1000 publications in T.K. Sabapathy’s collection, there was a need to organize and make sense of it. A catalogue was drawn up to enumerate, record bibliographic data, describe and categorize the publications. I spent several days cataloguing these publications at the prep-room, a space conceived for the exploration of curatorial methods with another intern, Flora.

 The next task was to interpret and present the collection of materials to the public in insightful ways. It was challenging as I found myself grappling with various questions. How do we go about classifying or arranging the books? Do we consider time periods or epochs, strict chronology, disciplines, subject matter, authors or locations? Given the limited space and the abundance of publications, what gets displayed? By exploring these issues, I acquired greater understanding on why and how curators experience their collection. 




I gained greater exposure of other aspects of curatorial practices such as exhibition-making when I assisted Kenneth in setting up the exhibition Etcetera that features the works by artist Ng Eng Teng. The recontextualization of museum collections and audience reception are just some of the considerations in producing critical and thought-provoking exhibition. This introduction to curatorial practices and the art scene in Southeast Asia was intense and can only be understood through direct involvement. 

Camaraderie



Apart from acquiring work skills, I enjoyed a unique sense of camaraderie working with other interns from NUS and Junior Colleges. We exchanged perspectives and views on curatorial methods which gave way to new ideas and insights. NUS Museum staff also played an integral role in shaping my internship experience and orienting me to the museum culture. Several staff had put aside their time to provide engaging tours for me and the other interns to experience the different exhibitions within NUS Museum and at the NUS Baba House during the first few days of our internship. I am most grateful to my supervisor, Kenneth for introducing me to the different aspects of the museum industry and Southeast Asian art. Interning at NUS Museum during my final semester break as an NUS undergraduate was indeed a fulfilling journey.

Monday, 27 January 2014

Diary of an NUS Museum Intern: Clarence Ng

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. If you would like to become our next intern, visit our internship page for more information!

As part of our December 2013 cohort of interns, 3 undergraduate interns from NUS joined us for five weeks trawling through books, papers and catalogue conducting on research for the In Search of Raffles' Light exhibition and the TK Sabapathy Collection of books and artworks. 

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Clarence Ng is a third-year NUS History major. Having experienced the In Search of Raffles' Light exhibition through the module HY3256 Brides of the Sea: Asia's Port Cities, Clarence joined the museum to further pursue his research interest in maritime history and conduct further research on the archival materials showcased within the exhibition.

Introduction

Not all those who wander are lost - J.R.R Tolkien

It’s a very apt quote to describe my December internship with the NUS Museum, and quite nicely summarises my experience here.

When I first took HY3256 Brides of the Sea, I did not expect it to be the beginning of a journey that would lead me here, to a curatorial internship with the NUS Museum, working on In Search of Raffles’ Light - an exhibition I first visited as part of the module’s requirements. But I am grateful it did, for it is a truly enriching experience.

Experience


As a curatorial intern working on In Search of Raffles’ Light, my brief was simple: Research and come up with ideas for activities to ‘value-add’ to the existing exhibition. Or, as my supervisor Kenneth said at my interview, come up with ‘footnotes’ for the exhibit.

My corner, and my work

With this brief, I engaged myself researching for possible ideas for activities. I was initially unused to the very liberal nature of the job, in the sense that there were almost completely no restrictions placed on my research. Thus, I was quite free to run off in almost any direction I wanted, and one of the early difficulties was to focus on a topic long enough to be able to produce something useable for an activity. I was fortunate to have been able to work with a very open-minded and supportive boss, who I could bounce off crazy ideas without being shot down instantly. Furthermore, coming from a different academic background (Literature), he was able to provide a different spin on many of my ideas, allowing me to refine them further.

9 binders of primary material - and that’s just the beginning!

The other big challenge I faced was the lack of material for certain topics. This was in part due to the fact that I worked primarily with online archives, which were often limited in the depth of their online collections, as much primary source material had not yet been digitized. This forced me to be extremely resourceful and creative in hunting for material, and would lead me to countless websites, always hunting for the elusive fact.

Nevertheless, despite the intensity of the job, it has its perks. As interns, we were given guided tours of all the current exhibitions of the NUS Museums, with the curators themselves conducting these tours. These visits were a valuable chance to pick the minds of the exhibit organizers, and learn about their thinking when they curated the artefacts.

Another benefit for me was succeeding in finding and developing a viable Honours Thesis topic. A key concern of mine since the previous sem, it was a great relief to have been finally able to discover a topic both original and with lots of potential, which even my professors are excited about. Honours Year, here I come!

Lessons

Looking back, perhaps the biggest benefit of this museum internship was the debunking of several ideas I had pre-internship. For one, a museum career is not only for History majors. Among the interns I worked with, I was the only History major, with the rest coming from disciplines as diverse as Geography and Political Science. My supervisor himself was a Literature graduate, giving the lie to the stereotype that only History majors work in the Museum.

For another, museum curators rely on more theoretical concepts than just history. During the course of my work, I found myself often dealing with more Literature concepts than History ones. Ideas such as Freud’s Uncanny, the privileging of light etc are notions more at home within the Literature department than the History ones, and it was refreshing to work with such ideas, a departure from the usual academic trawl.

Another benefit was the breadth of experience gained. Neither purely academic nor purely practical, the role of a curator demands a melange of skills both theoretical and pragmatic, and can be a very surprising road to take. For instance, a curator has to have both the ability to appreciate the concepts being put together in a space, and also to arrange the logistics to transport exhibits and arrange them.

Epilogue

And at the end, I am glad that I stumbled upon this opportunity to intern at the NUS Museum. Truly, not all who wander are lost, and if you ever do have the chance, give it a go, and you’ll be surprised at what you’ll find. 


Monday, 20 January 2014

Diary of an NUS Museum Intern: Alissa Mei Abuy

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. If you would like to become our next intern, visit our internship page for more information!

As part of our December 2013 cohort of interns, we welcomed two students, Natalie Pek and Alissa Mei Abuy from Jurong Junior College for a two-week attachment. Here's Alissa to share about her experience.

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I did not know what to expect when I signed up for this internship; all I knew was that I was signing up for some sort of museum thingy. To be honest, I was not expecting to get the internship at all, as there were only 3 slots available. However, despite that, getting the internship was one of my most rewarding experiences thus far.


Throughout the 2 weeks at NUS Museum, I was exposed to many different thought-provoking exhibitions and tours. For instance, the conservation tour was interesting as it showed that there is truly more than meets the eye. This is because there may be some modifications done to the original art piece, and this may actually obscure what the artist actually meant to portray. That said, we also looked at some paintings where certain details have been deliberately obscured or modified by the original artist, and it is interesting to note how the artist may have changed his mind when he was working on the painting.


I was also able to do some hands-on work in the form of cataloguing the many books donated by T.K. Sabapathy in the Prep Room. Cataloguing was a very lengthy and time-consuming process, and this gave me an idea of what curatorial work was like. It is not only about deciding how to bring across the message or themes to the visitors using the relevant material, but also knowing what resources are available, and how best to utilise these resources, as well as other legwork like organising all the information about the materials into one place.


Besides that, Natalie, my classmate and fellow intern, and I were also tasked to organise a travelling exhibition to our school, Jurong Junior College based on what we had learnt about Ng Eng Teng, a renowned Singaporean artist.  During the planning stage, we had to take into consideration many different variables such as how we were going to showcase the display boards and how to make sure that the boards were not stolen or vandalised. One of the alternatives that we thought of to this showcase was to have a talk during one of the Hall Civics period. Hence, we had to come up with an outline of what we were going to be presenting and consequently, prepare a presentation and script.



The prolonged stay at the NUS campus also allowed us to familiarise ourselves with the area as we were able to visit the different canteens located around campus. Moreover, I was also able to learn more about the courses offered at university level from other interns who are currently studying at NUS. I think the highlight of the internship was not only being able to have greater exposure to art and museums, but also to be able to meet these many different people. 

Friday, 17 January 2014

Call for Applications: Writing Lab 2014


Writing Lab 2014 is a seven-week script-writing mentorship programme, running from 13 Feb-27 Mar 2014 facilitated by Huzir Sulaiman of Checkpoint Theatre, and organised by NUS Museum for the NUS Arts Festival 2014. Under Huzir’s guidance, students will write short plays that draw from, refer to, or intersect with the collections of NUS Museum. The programme will consist of one mentoring session and one public talk per week, culminating in a public script reading session on 27 Mar 2014 during the NUS Arts Festival 2014.


Mobilising the archival materials and anecdotes collected by NUS Museum, Writing Lab 2014 will attempt to locate history as a site of multiple reflections and refractions. The programme, therefore, takes as its central premise the potentials of writing with history. It encourages a thinking of history not merely as an object that one simply authors, but that which writes us as much as we write it: a history that is equally as ambivalent and contemporaneous as words themselves.

Monday, 13 January 2014

Diary of an NUS Museum: Natalie Pek

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. If you would like to become our next intern, visit our internship page for more information!

As part of our December 2013 cohort of interns, we welcomed two students, Natalie Pek and Alissa Mei Abuy from Jurong Junior College for a two-week attachment. Here's Natalie to share about her experience.

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As an intern at the NUS museum, I was part of a passionate team. Every member of the team displayed excellent knowledge in the field of the Arts and propagated their burning passion to all visitors and likewise, myself. I was initially surprised at how captivating the Arts was and how the passion for the Arts was so contagious. 


The conservation workshop provided showed me how much work is needed before an artifact is released for public viewing; something I was nonchalant about before. I didn’t expect the process to be that complicated. Artifacts may come damaged in one way or another, requiring hours of planning and discussion on how and what to use to conserve the artifacts so as to keep it in good shape. Some artifacts may need to undergo checks in ultraviolet light or infrared light scanning. It is definitely not as easy as I thought it would be and this has helped me to appreciate museum exhibitions more!



I look back at my time at the NUS museum with gratitude as I was given the opportunity to attend the museum tours for exhibitions such as In Search of Raffles’ Light, Between Here And Nanyang, Come Cannibalise Us, Why Don't You? and the NUS Baba House. At the beginning, I found it hard to relate to the artworks and artifacts around me in the museum because there is no definite answer as to what the true meaning of the artwork or the artifact is. Throughout my academic journey till today, answers have always been what I was after but while working in the museum, I found myself in a place without answers but purely personal interpretation and understanding. Surprisingly, learning to embrace the uncertainty of the Arts has helped me learn better. It is self-discovery that has made learning for me fun and interesting which was what the experience in NUS Museum provided me with. It is the individual emotion that Art triggers and the mind provoking messages behind Art that made the entire experience captivating for me. I would definitely bring along with me these valuable lessons as I continue on with my academic journey. I wish for further similar opportunities in the future that would enrich my journey as a student.