8 Nov - Paint Scrapping at The Kuo Chuan House

Day 1 of the Conservation Science course for Engineering Week, where students got to collect numerous paint samples from our very own Kuo Chuan House, to be sent for lab analysis @ The NUS Museum on Day 3 (Wednesday) of this course and also for the Conservation Science Program next year (2013).

Pictures by Derrick

Clockwise, from top left: One of the 20 sample spots taken; Mr Chin giving his demonstration; Mr Chin taking a sample

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Reflection by Zhong Chen


This definitely was an interesting experience for us, and the fact that we were collecting paint samples from a structure in our own school made it more relatable and interesting. Regardless of our level, we have always seen the Kuo Chuan House as it is in the present day, and we usually take it for granted that it has always been so; however, the collection of paint samples revealed numerous other paint colours beneath the current coat of paint, which in turn allowed us to infer many things. For instance, certain parts of the Kuo Chuan House were blue at some point in time, and it was said to be speculated that this corresponded to the colours of the Chinese Communist Party in the past.

With Mr Lawrence Chin, a conservator who is extremely well versed in the field of heritage conservation guiding us, we managed to learn a lot from something so seemingly mundane. This session also served as an introduction of sorts to our course on heritage conservation, especially since it was held just after the opening ceremony of Engineering Week, where various new technologies were showcased; the contrast truly showed how as we embrace the technologies of the future, we must learn how to appreciate our past. All in all, this has been quite an interesting and enriching experience, something that we definitely would not have been able to experience if not for this course.