Topic ID #38375 - posted 5/22/2017 12:39 AM

Career Opportunity - Head of Exhibition (ArtScience Museum)- Singapore



ArtScience Museum is seeking an outstanding exhibitions professional to direct our dynamic and innovative exhibitions work.

ArtScience Museum is the cultural institution in Singapore that explores the intersection between art, science, technology and culture. It is the cultural component of Marina Bay Sands.  Since opening in February 2011, we have staged large-scale exhibitions by some of the world’s major artists, including Leonardo da Vinci, Salvador Dalí, Andy Warhol, Vincent Van Gogh, and currently, M.C. Escher.  In addition, we have presented significant exhibitions which explore aspects of science, including, in recent shows, big data, particle physics, paleontology, marine biology and space exploration.

The museum presents exhibitions and programmes to deliver stories about art and science using a combination of intellectual discussion, education, beautiful design, and interactive content.   Featuring 21 gallery spaces totaling nearly 5000m2, our lotus-inspired building has played host to major international touring exhibitions from renowned museums and galleries the world, including The British Museum, Science Museum in London, the American Museum of Natural History in New York, CCCB, the Ambrosiana, Mori Art Museum and many others.  We also originate and produce exhibitions in-house, and run a full programme of education, events, activities and learning opportunities for a wide range of audiences.

The Exhibitions Department at ArtScience Museum is responsible for developing and implementing a full programme of temporary and permanent exhibitions, for a wide range of audiences, directly reaching over 500,000 visitors annually.   


As an indication of the kind of exhibitions ArtScience Museum delivers, at present we have two large temporary exhibitions on show:

- The Universe and Art

The Universe and Art is an artistic voyage through space, exploring where we came from and where we are going. It weaves a rich constellation of Eastern and Western philosophies, ancient and contemporary art, and science and religion, to explore how humanity has constantly contemplated its presence in the universe.  Curated with the Mori Art Museum, it includes masterworks by the most renowned Renaissance astronomers, Galileo, Kepler, Newton and Copernicus, which are on show in Singapore for the first time, plus contemporary artworks by Pierre Huyghe, Andreas Gursky, Wolfgang Tillmans, Hiroshi Sugimoto, Bjorn Dahlem, Mariko Mori and many more.

- HUMAN+: The Future of Our Species

Advances in genetic engineering, biotechnology and nanotechnology that not long ago seemed purely science fiction are now real. Cyborgs, superhumans and clones are alive amongst us today. What does it mean to be human now? What will it feel like to be a human a hundred years from now? Should we continue to embrace modifications to our minds, bodies and daily lives, or are there boundaries we shouldn’t overstep? These are the issues at the heart of HUMAN+: The Future of Our Species. Showcasing the work of 40 international artists, scientists, technologists and designers, the show explores possible future paths for our species. It includes major names from the fields of robotics, biotechnology, synthetic biology and artificial intelligence, including the world's first living cyborg, Neil Harbisson; Australia's leading performance artist, Stelarc; and Oron Catts and Ionat Zurr, who grow sculptures from living tissue.


We also have our permanent offerings:

- Future World: Where Art Meets Science

ArtScience Museum's permanent exhibition, Future World: Where Art Meets Science is a collaboration with teamLab, a Japanese group of ultra-technologists known for their innovative use of digital technology as a medium for art.  Consisting of 15 major art installations and interactive projects for children, it is a place to reflect on our own position relative to the natural world, other people and the universe. It is organized into four zones: Nature, Town, Park and Space, each of which uses cutting-edge science and technology to create ever-changing, evolving environments, which visitors of all ages are invited to explore, and become part of.    


- Into the Wild: An Immersive Virtual Adventure

Into the Wild is an AR/VR experience made by ArtScience Museum, Google, Lenovo, and WWF. It transforms over 1000m2 of ArtScience Museum into a virtual rainforest, which visitors can explore using a smartphone device. For every virtual tree planted in the forest, and accompanied with a pledge to WWF, a real tree will be planted in a rainforest in Indonesia.  

Please refer to our website for more details about our work. 

We are seeking a dynamic professional to join ArtScience Museum’s team as Head of Exhibitions. This is a senior, exciting role for a dynamic and driven professional wishing to take the next step in their career.

The post-holder is responsible for the provision of engaging and meaningful exhibitions for a wide range of audiences.  Exhibitions are usually large in scale, typically between 1100-1500m2, and range from exhibitions on tour from other museum or galleries, to exhibitions developed in-house, or partnership with other institutions.  On average, the museum holds 6 temporary exhibitions per year, plus maintains the two permanent exhibitions, Future World and Into the Wild.  Temporary exhibitions can range from art-focused exhibitions, such as the shows on M.C. Escher, Salvador Dalí, and Andy Warhol, or science-focused shows such as the recent exhibitions, NASA – A Human Adventure, Collider or The Deep.  But all exhibitions incorporate elements of both art and science, within the presentation and story-telling. In this way, exhibitions at ArtScience Museum help shape the identity of the museum, and communicate to audiences in clear and direct ways the concept of ArtScience - the intersection between art, science, culture and technology.

The Head of Exhibitions heads a department of 7 full-time staff members, plus temporary staff.

The Head of Exhibitions is also part of the senior management group of ArtScience Museum, and takes part in the museum’s strategic planning processes.

The Head of Exhibitions will work in close collaboration with the Executive Director on ensuring relevant and innovative exhibitions that further the museum’s mission of exploring the intersection between art, science, culture and technology. The Head of Exhibitions main areas of responsibility are:

-          Strategy - strategically steer and develop ArtScience Museum’s exhibitions and positively contribute to the overall artistic strategy for the museum

-          Exhibition management, curation and development – oversee the curation, production and delivery of exhibitions

-          Leadership - provide leadership and overarching management of Exhibitions team, with ongoing awareness and understanding of their individual performances and well-being;

-          Audience development – implement strategies for increasing audiences, and developing new audiences

-          Internal liaison - work with other departments within Marina Bay Sands, such as Marketing, Legal, Finance and Sponsorship.

-          Networking – be active within international exhibition networks and be well networked with other museums, galleries and science centres locally and internationally.


Key areas, in detail:

1.       Strategy

The Head of Exhibitions will have overall responsibility for the strategy of the Exhibitions department and how it interfaces with the rest of the museum. This involves

-          Working closely with the Executive Director ensuring the Exhibitions department is focused on meeting ArtScience Museum’s objectives

-          Continuously reviewing and developing existing exhibition formats, and introducing new exhibition formats if and where applicable

-          Understanding the wider context of the cultural, heritage and arts sectors within Singapore and beyond.

-          Being aware of best practice within exhibitions practice, and how it can be applied to ArtScience Museum’s exhibitions

-          Working closely with the Programmes department, ensuring exhibition-related programmes are aligned with the direction of exhibitions

-          Responding to and initiating new partnership opportunities, to continually grow and vary the offer of exhibitions at ArtScience Museum.

-          Delivers papers and presentations at local and international conferences and represents the museum team at events 

2.       Exhibition management and development

The Head of Exhibitions will be responsible for ensuring the high-quality of ArtScience Museum’s exhibitions. This involves:

-          Searching and planning for future exhibitions, which are in line with the vision of ArtScience Museum and provide a harmonious balance between Art, Science, Culture and Technology related angles.

-          Developing new initiatives, partnerships and collaborations, for temporary exhibitions that will help establish ArtScience Museum in the museum community both locally and internationally.

-          Overseeing the management and maintenance of the museum's permanent exhibitions, ensuring they are regularly updated

-          Negotiating business terms and contracts

-          Crafting budgets and visitation projections

-          Overseeing the process for the design and build tenders (presentation, evaluation analysis and appointment)

-          Providing support and guidance to the exhibition team for the development of the exhibitions: from concept design, detailed design, built, maintenance, and tear down.

-          Identify and select artists for artist commissions in response to exhibitions and ArtScience  Museum’s mandate

-          Ensuring all exhibitions delivered are of international museum standards

-          Ensuring each exhibition is managed within deadline and to budget

-          Ensuring all touring collections are preserved and handled within international museum standards and delivered and returned to owners within allocated timeframe and budget

-          Ongoing evaluation and analysis of existing exhibition provision, with recommendations for improvements

-          Ensuring that visitor experience is considered in the planning and delivery of each exhibition, with different levels of interpretation and accessibility, being taken into account.

-          Craft content and  conduct analysis of exhibitions evaluation surveys 

-          Conduct with the exhibition team post mortem analysis of the work delivered

3.       Leadership and Management

The Head of Exhibitions will be responsible for ensuring the ongoing well-being and professional development of the Exhibitions department team. This involves:

-          Working with the team to ensure the Exhibitions department maintains smooth and harmonious working methods and communications

-          Understanding the training needs of the team as a whole to ensure it has the ability to deliver the exhibitions, and initiating training and continuing professional development as applicable

-          Provide guidance, support and methodological tools for the team to support them in acquiring stronger working methodologies; developing better knowledge of curatorial content development and storyboard flow; and strengthening writing of exhibition content.

4.       Audience development

The Head of Exhibitions will take an active role in devising strategies to increase audiences for exhibitions. This involves:

-          Working closely with Marketing, Communications and the Executive Director on the development and implementation of a robust strategy for increasing visitation.

-          Understanding of the museum’s core audiences, their needs, and how these can be best fulfilled through exhibitions

-          Ensuring curatorial content is suitable for the local audience in Singapore and Southeast Asia

-          Continuing evaluation and consultation with key target audiences, and implementing improvements based on the data collected.

5.       Other

The Head of Exhibitions must have a willingness to work flexibly and be able to:

-          Work collaboratively and openly across Marina Bay Sands, including liaising with Marketing, Communications, Legal, Compliance, Finance, Procurement and other departments when applicable

-          Work in the evenings and at weekends as and when necessary

-          Be active within museum and gallery networks nationally and internationally


1. Experience

-          Demonstrable record of achievement in the cultural, science or education sector working on exhibitions

-          Experience of delivering art or science exhibitions of international significance

-          A proven understanding of audiences in an arts, cultural and/or science context

-          Proven experience in delivering exhibitions in a range of engaging and accessible ways

-          Proven experience of managing people, staff development and team building

-          Proven experience of working in partnership with stakeholders and other organisations

-          Strong experience of finance and budget planning

-          Demonstrable record of working within a museum, gallery or science centre

-          Experience in people management


2. Abilities, Knowledge and Skills


-          A demonstrably strong interest in the subjects ArtScience Museum is engaged in, and a curiosity about the fields of art, science, technology and culture

-          Degree, relevant professional qualification, or outstanding professional experience in the subject areas ArtScience Museum is engaged with

-          A proven ability to see a large-scale exhibition through, from conceptualization, to detailed design, to on-site delivery

-          Excellent interpersonal skills and the ability to communicate at all levels, in writing and verbally

-          Excellent organisational skills

-          Ability to manage complex tasks in a busy work environment

-          Ability to multitask

-          Ability to work under work pressure and deliver exhibitions within tight deadlines

-          Computer literate with proficiency Microsoft Word and Excel

-          Fluent in English, both spoken and written



-          Knowledge of current and topical issues around the arts, science and new technologies

-          Knowledge of the funding infrastructure in Singapore for art, science and technology

-          Understanding of Singapore’s cultural context

-          Knowledge of Southeast Asia region

-          Proficiency in language(s) other than English


3. Personal Characteristics / Attributes 

-          Creative and positive orientation, focused on outcomes and solutions

-          Confident, outgoing and enthusiastic

-          Independent, and self-motivated

-          The ability to work under pressure and handle challenging situations

-          The ability to make decisions and accept responsibility

-          Willingness to work flexibly

-          An ability to empathize with others and strong emotional intelligence

-          Good communication and negotiating  skills



1.       Reviewing the full job description, which outlines the Job Responsibilities in detail 

2.       Sending a CV

3.       Sending a cover letter outlining why you are the right candidate for this key position. Please state:

-          Why you want the position

-          What specific prior experience you that qualifies you for the Primary Responsibilities

-          How your professional experience meets the Job Requirements / Person Specification

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