Head, Conservation and Research (Hong Kong)

By Carmina Lamare-Bertrand posted 07-29-2020 17:34


M+ is a museum dedicated to collecting, exhibiting, and interpreting visual art, design and architecture, moving image, and Hong Kong visual culture of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. In Hong Kong’s West Kowloon Cultural District, we are building one of the largest museums of modern and contemporary visual culture in the world, with a bold ambition to establish ourselves as one of the world’s leading cultural institutions. Our aim is to create a new kind of museum that reflects our unique time and place, a museum that builds on Hong Kong’s historic balance of the local and international to define a distinctive and innovative voice for Asia’s twenty-first century.

 Head, Conservation and Research (Ref: R1566)
(Candidate with less experience may be considered for the post of Senior Conservator)

 Reporting to the Deputy Director, Collection & Exhibitions, the position of Head, Conservation & Research is a key leadership role and an integral part of the Collection & Exhibition Department. The Head will have strategic and operational responsibility and will work with colleagues across the museum to develop an integrated approach to conservation for the institution.

The current conservation team is comprised of professional conservators with a diverse range of specialities reflecting the broad variety of materials represented in the M+ Collections including paper, photography, painting, object, digital and installation art as well as preventive conservation.

The job holder will lead on the development of preventative and remedial conservation activities to support ambitious curatorial programs and ensure the long-term preservation of the M+ Collections. He/she will play a vital role in institutional initiatives and research projects.

With the projected opening of the Museum in the year 2021, the current focus of the conservation team is to set on preparing the collections for display, managing all required treatments and mounting projects as well as carefully monitoring the building progress and relevant systems performance. In the coming few months, the focus of the team will shift from preparation to providing hands-on support to the installation of the collections in the galleries.

Following the museum public opening, the Head, Conservation and Research will lead the team through a transitional period, from project delivery mode to full museum operation. As the team develops further, Senior Conservators are expected to support the Head to help coordinating efforts across different disciplines.

You will be responsible for:

  • developing overarching strategies for preventive and interventive conservation including policies, standards and procedures for the examination, treatment, preparation and maintenance of the M+ Collections aiming to meet the highest possible standards;
  • developing a conservation operational plan including management structures, staffing, budgets, resource allocation, planning, targets and measures of success;
  • leading, managing, motivating and further developing a team with a wide range of conservation specialities to meet current and future requirements;
  • leading on the development of the conservation research team to provide it with all the required capacities to ensure proper M+ collections preservation, including initiating science and specialised documentation activities;
  • coordinating all efforts across the Conservation team to ensure a collaborative approach to projects in close coordination with the Curatorial, Registration & Collections Management and Exhibition & Displays teams;
  • providing conservation support to the M+ Archives and Library team on the preservation and treatment of the collection archives to facilitate research access and punctual display;
  • supervising and punctually performing highly skilled conservation work, including examination, treatment, documentation, preparation and maintenance for exhibition or other uses of the M+ Collection items;
  • developing and maintaining collaborative research relationships at local, regional and international levels to increase knowledge on the M+ collections and/ or to improve its safe access and preservation;
  • playing a leading role in advocating for the development of the conservation profession in Hong Kong and the region and proactively representing M+ in international conservation forums;
  • collaborating with relevant teams within the institution to develop emergency plans and disaster preparedness protocols; and
  • exploring opportunities for the team to represent the institution by contributing to professional meetings and conferences and producing high-level research-based publications.

You should:

  • possess a master degree in Conservation from a recognised college/ university, or a diploma/ certificate in Conservation from a recognised conservation training programme;
  • have at least 10 to 15 years of verifiable museum conservation experience, beyond the degree of certificate; or an equivalent combination of education, training, and experience preferably in a supervisory role for at least 5 years;
  • have a significant record of professional accomplishments that may also include publishing and research;
  • be able to anticipate the future needs of a developing institution and to design effective systems for meeting the museum’s obligations with regards to the safe access and use of the collections;
  • demonstrate understanding and ability to appropriately apply the latest techniques and  technology, materials, and equipment used in conservation; have proven track record of developing procedures relating to the examination and remedial conservation of contemporary visual culture, environmental and handling requirements for loans and collection displays;
  • have experience working in fast paced environments with a flexible approach to problem solving. Experience working with living artists/practitioners is desirable;
  • preferably have experience on conservation of contemporary visual culture, and knowledge of preservation issues in cultural institutions with diverse collections;
  • be able to organise and manage complex projects; able to evaluate potential solutions to problems and adopt effective courses of action; have experience in developing and managing budgets;
  • be a strong team-player and be able to supervise, direct, motivate and evaluate staff, interns and volunteers;
  • have strong leadership, interpersonal, planning and organisational skills; and
  • have strong oral, written and interpersonal communication skills in English and preferably in Chinese.

For interested parties, please submit your application with detailed CV on or before August 14, 2020. Applicants are encouraged to submit their applications as soon as possible.  The review of applications will continue until post is filled.

Data collected will only be used for job application processing. Your data may be accessed by our appointed recruitment consultants who have agreed to keep confidence of all personal data in not less than the standards applicable to us. Applicants not being invited for interview within 4 weeks from the submission date may assume their applications unsuccessful.

All related information will be kept up to 24 months and all personal data will be destroyed afterwards.

For more information http://www.westkowloon.hk or contact Ms. Michelle Cheng at 2200-0220.