Dr Nicole Tse is interested in cultural materials conservation in tropical climates. Protocols for the conservation of our cultural record are largely derived from research undertaken in the Northern Hemisphere. Her research aims to develop regionally relevant conservation solutions based on the unique materials and techniques identified in works of art in Southeast Asia and their deterioration mechanisms according to tropical climatic conditions.

Nicole undertook an Australian Research Council Postdoctorate Fellow at the Centre for Cultural Materials Conservation investigating The Twentieth Century in Paint. This major research initiative combines the expertise of conservation, art history, materials science, chemistry, curatorial studies and heritage management and involves ten collaborating institutions across six countries and nine researchers. On the project Nicole investigated research questions raised as part of her doctoral thesis on The Characterisation of Oil Paintings in Tropical Southeast Asia.

As part of her long commitment to conservation in Southeast Asia, Nicole has delivered a number of training workshops, research projects and diplomatic assignments in seven Southeast Asian countries. She is a founding member of the Asia Pacific Twentieth Century Conservation Art Network (APTCCARN).

Research Grants

  • 2007 Round 2: ARC Linkage Grant LP0883309 The Twentieth Century in Paint Investigators: A/Prof Robyn Sloggett, Ms Nicole Tse, Prof Carl Schiesser, Dr Stephen Best, Prof John Drennan, Prof Jane Hunter, Dr Thomas Learner, Mr Andrew Durham, Ms Zanita Anuar, $560,585 over three years.
  • 2006: Ian Potter Travel Grant, Ian Potter Foundation ($4000)
  • Endeavour Australia Cheung Kong Award, Department of Education, Science and Training, ($20 000). See UniNews media release 21 April 2005
  • 2004: Post Graduate Overseas Research Experience Scholarship (PORES), The University of Melbourne ($5000)
  • 2003: Arts Victoria: International Export and Touring Program ($5,000)


Conference Proceedings (*Refereed)

  • *Tse, N, Labrador, A and Sloggett, R 2009, 'Oil Paintings in the Philippines: Two Institutionalised Practices and their Materials and Techniques ', in J Anderson (ed.), Crossing Cultures: Conflict, Migration, Convergence, 32nd Congress of the International Committee of the History of Art, 13-18 January, 2008, Melbourne University Press, Melbourne,, pp. 590-598.
  • *Tse, N, Roberts, A and Sloggett, R 2008, 'A preliminary understanding of oil paintings in tropical Southeast Asia', in J Bridgeland (ed.), ICOM Committee for Conservation, 15th Triennial Conference, 22-26 September, New Delhi, Allied Publishers Pvt. Ltd., New Delhi, vol. II, pp. 641-650.
  • *Miles, E, Tse, N, Sloggett, R and Roberts, A 2008, 'Application of Speckle to Painted Canvas', in Australian Conference on Optical Fibre Technology/Australian Optical Society 2006, Melbourne, Australia, p. 8.
  • *Miles, E, Roberts, A, Tse, N and Sloggett, R 2008, 'Speckle and Conservation', paper presented at the 9th International Conference on Non Destructive Investigations and microanalysis for the diagnostics and conservation of cultural and environmental heritage, ART2008, Jerusalem, Israel, 25-30 May,
  • *Tse, N and Sloggett, R 2008, 'Southeast Asian Oil Paintings: Supports and preparatory layers', in J Townsend, T Doherty, G Heydenreich, G and J Ridge (eds), Preparation for painting: the artist's choice and its consequence, Archetype Books, London, pp. 161-70.
  • *Tse, N 2005, 'Artistic practices of the Bohol School of Paintings: An Analytical and Archival Study of Nineteenth-Century Panel Paintings in the Philippines', in P Jett, J Winter and B McCarthy (eds), Scientific Research on the Pictorial Arts of Asia: Proceedings of the Second Forbes Symposium, Archetype Publications, Freer Gallery of Art, Washington, pp. 149-59.

Journal Articles (*Refereed Journals)

  • *R Sloggett, C Kyi, N Tse, M Tobin, L Puskar, S Best, 2010 'Microanalysis of Artworks: IR Microspectroscopy of paint cross-sections,' Vibrational.Spectroscopy, Vol. 53, issue 1, pp. 77-82, doi:10.1016/j.vibspec.2010.01.021.
  • *Tse, N 2004, 'What about the Picture Frame?,' Art Manila Quarterly, vol. IV, no. 3, pp. 88-90.
  • *Tse, N 2003, 'Caring for your Paintings and Works on Paper,' Art Manila Quarterly, vol. IV, no. 2.
  • *Tse, N 2001 'Developing Networks and Ongoing Conservation programs in the Philippines', Logan, W (ed), Historic Environment, the Asian Connection, Australia ICOMOS, Vol. 15, No. 3, pp. 35-45.
  • *Tse, N 1999 'Heritage Conservation Programs in Asia' in Association Professional Historians, Issue 66, November, pp. 14-17.

Book Sections

  • *Tse, N 2009, 'Daftar Istilah Teknis' in Pameran Keliling Sebuah Panduan Praktis Untuk Galeri Dan Musuem Seni Indonesia, Asialink/NETS Victoria Publication, Melbourne pp. 46-48.
  • *Tse, N 2010, 'Choice, Production and Behaviour: Important considerations for Southeast Asian Oil Painting Supports` in Melbourne Journal of Technical Studies in Arts - Volume III - Supports (in press).

Conference Papers

  • Tse, N 2008 'The Characterisation of Oil Paintings in tropical Southeast Asia', paper presented to the Inaugural APTCCARN Meeting, National Art Gallery Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur, 13 June.
  • Tse, N 2004, 'The Bohol School of Painting,' AICCM Paintings Special Interest Group Conference, Tasmania Museum and Art Gallery, Launceston, Tasmania, March, 2004.
  • Tse, N 2004, 'The Bohol School of Painting,' What Lies Beneath: Post Graduate Conference Program, The University of Melbourne, 6 November, 2003.
  • Tse, N 2000, 'Report on Stage One of the ASEAN- COCI AusHeritage Project,' Working toward a Policy and Strategy for the Cultural Heritage Management in the ASEAN region, Sound and Film Archives, Canberra, February, 2000.
  • Tse, N 1995, 'A study of the long term optical properties of Regalrez 1094 when combined with varying proportions of Kraton G 1650 and a fixed proportion of Tinuvin 292' National Centre for Cultural Heritage Student Projects and The Contemporary Varnishes Workshop, The University of Canberra, November 1995.

Press Articles

  • Tse, N 2008, 'Review: Diversity in Heritage Conservation- Tradition, Innovation and Participation,' ICOM-CC 15th Triennial Conference, New Delhi, India, 22-26 September 2008 in AICCM Newsletter, no.
  • Tse, N 2004, 'Research Partnerships for Cultural Materials' Insite, November- December, p. 12. (ISSN 1036-9554)
  • Tse, N 2003, 'Review: The Second Forbes Conference on the Pictorial Arts of Asia,' AICCM Newsletter, no. 89, p.24-25.
  • Tse, N 2004, 'Freer Gallery of Art: Second Forbes Symposium' Art Events Ideas, Issue 4, p. 6.
  • Tse, N 2002, 'Conservation Research Projects' Art Events Ideas, Issue 3, p. 3.
  • Tse, N 2002, 'Professional Engagement in South-East Asia' Insite, September- October, p. 15.

Catalogue Essays

  • Tse, N 2002, 'Ramsay's Untitled (Study of a Boy): A technical viewpoint' In detail: Hugh Ramsay Untitled (Study of a Boy), Ian Potter Museum of Art, Melbourne.




  • 2009 -: Paula Dredge: 'Sidney Nolan and house-paint (1941-1953)'with Assoc. Prof. Robyn Sloggett
    2009- : Melina Glasson 'PVAc and oxidative stress deterioration in the context of Papunya Tula Paintings', with Prof. Carl Schiesser, Dr Stephen Best, Assoc. Prof. Robyn Sloggett
  • 2010- : Sarah Slade 'The Cost of Exhibiting: Developing an instrument to objectively assess and manage the level of risk to collection material on exhibition and the resources required to control that level of risk', with Assoc. Prof. Robyn Sloggett

Master of Art Minor Thesis

  • 2010: Louise Allen 'Metallic Paint'
    2010: Claire Heasman 'Identifying painting materials and techniques employed by Malay-Chinese Artist Yong Mun Sen'
    2010: Albertine Hamilton 'The Art of Spontaneous Pleasure: A framework for pop-up book collections within Australia'