Swing through Singapore

Yours truly was in Singapore last month; the UST Museum lent a rarely-seen oil on canvas painting by Galo Ocampo to the Singapore Art Museum for “Thrice Upon A Time: A Century of Story in the Art of the Philippines” an exhibit organized by the National Heritage Board of Singapore.  I was there to make sure it arrived safely, and was hung in accordance with the work’s conservation needs.

The exhibit, along with other shows, are part of Singapore’s celebration of 40 years of diplomatic relations with the Philippines. I must say they did a fine job.

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So. Tired.

Spent the day grubbing around in the Museum’s satellite office and warehouse. We got rid of old furniture that was just taking up space, and cleaned the office side of the facility from top to bottom. That was the easy part.

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We’ll meet again…

Don’t know where
Don’t know when
But I know we’ll meet again some sunny day
Keep smiling through,
Just like you always do
Till the blue skies drive the dark clouds far away

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Same time, next year.

They came, they saw, they left. Half an hour, with a thousand unanswered questions left over. I hate short tours. I hope next year there’ll be more time. 😦

The 2008 Valor Tours group, whose ETA was 2:00-2:30 p.m., arrived at the University at ten minutes to three. By the time we got everyone up the grand stairs to the Museum Gallery, it was 3:10. They had to leave at 3:30 to make it to Bilibid Prison (used during WWII as a military POW camp), and then straight to the airport.

I’ve never had to talk faster.

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‘Scuse me while I fire up the DeLorean.

The past couple of days have been hectic (wait, when are they not?) — I’ve been struggling with the flu, and all week I’ve been waiting for approval to open the Santo Tomas Museum for a Saturday viewing for a very special group of guests.

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Disposable art

At the museum I work for, we had an exhibition of traditional Filipino arts and crafts. One of the crafts featured is called “pabalat.” The word “balat” refers more strictly to skin, while the word “balot” is used more often for any kind of wrapping material, but this craft is traditionally called “pabalat” (pah-bah-LAHT). It involves folding thin Japanese tissue paper, tracing a pattern onto the folded paper, and then cutting it out, leaving an intricate, lacy filigree.

071119-my-pabalat-1-blogsize.jpg

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CollAsia 2010

Well, hell.

It’s been a whole MONTH?! 😮

CollAsia 2010 Manila hands-on labworkOkay, fine. My CollAsia 2010 International Course on Conservation of Southeast Asian Collections in Storage, under the auspices of ICCROM and SPAFA, is over. 28 brain-melting days of intense study, critical thinking, and hands-on training, not to mention challenging group discussions that turned myself and my colleagues from Brunei Darussalam, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Cambodia, Vietnam, the Philippines and Lao PDR into a seriously colorful (and hilarious) mix of heritage professionals.

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Museum disaster!

Argh. The past week has been a nightmare.

We had a major disaster at the Museum last week; vibrations from hammering being done in a gallery under renovation behind our Oriental Arts area dislodged a late Qing period blue-and-white vase. It fell off its display shelf… and shattered.

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Museum geek.

Elsec 764 small.jpgI so enjoy being a museum geek.

We’ve been using Elsec 764 handheld environmental monitors to assess our relative humidity, UV, temperature, and lux factors for about a month now, and we’re seeing the patterns of destructive highs and lows that are affecting not only the collection, but the entire structure as well.

The Elsec is an itty-bitty handheld thing that does the job of four different pieces of equipment, and it’s terribly handy. I love it! It looks horrible, kind of like the 1st gen Sony Ericsson mobiles, but it more than makes up in performance what it lacks in looks.

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