Inside Singapore Tyler Print Institute (STPI)

Pigeon was very privileged to have an opportunity to tour the Singapore Tyler Print Institute. , also known as STPI in short.

STPI is in association with Kenneth E. Tyler, a prominent art educator and figure of post-war revival of the fine arts in the United States.

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STPI has been pushing boundaries of paper and printmaking, constantly experimenting new methods of "printing", transferring art on paper with methods that one has never thought of. They invite inspiring and renowned artists from around the world for residency and to work on new print-making methods that leads up to a show at the end of their residency.

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On the walls of STPI, different print techniques are being introduced such as Relief Printing, a technique where the image is carved on wood or linoleum, inked and transferred to paper.

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A piece by Teppei Kaneuji (Japan)

A piece by Teppei Kaneuji (Japan)

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And we got a tour of the studios, workshop and giant machines where different techniques are applied.

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One of the studios where the artist-on-residency works at. The door at the far end actually leads up to the artist's living space! It's where the magic happens!

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I got really into the studio tour with the many machines and also partly that there are some unreleased artworks that I didn't take much photographs.

And then we got to the paper room where paper of different textures are made from scratch! At the back of the room is the paper-drying facility.

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This huge pressing machine exerts pressure to eliminate a large amount of water from the paper pulp before transferring to the dryer.

This huge pressing machine exerts pressure to eliminate a large amount of water from the paper pulp before transferring to the dryer.

The pigments on shelves to colour your paper!

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This huge pressure machine is actually re-furbished from a automotive factory machine meant for cars!

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Below are the limestones for carving images. These slabs of stone are being reused after each image and did you know that to reuse them, they have to be manually grinded and smoothened? There is a machine for this but doing it manually still produces the best results!

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Here's one interesting bit: these limestones are most probably the biggest collection ever of prints since the old times where this is considered the fastest and most efficient printing technique. From contracts to manuals and etc, this whole collection of limestones are inherited from Tyler Institute.

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After touring the workshop and studio space, we spent some time looking at works of Do Ho Suh, a Korean artist in residency with works that broke boundaries of printing. STPI and Do perfected a printing method of thread on paper, using gelatin. Pressing paper against gelatin and thread, pieces of art is formed when the gelatin dries up. Not an easy task with intrinsic patterns and lines!

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This art piece is much taller than me and I was told that the paper used in this piece is made in-house at the paper room! So big, they had to have 10 people help transfer it!

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Printing doesn't have to be 2D and most people might immediately relate to the latest fad of 3D printing. What Do made was 3D pieces with paper of things he sees and touches. Such detailed work!

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Go down to STPI to view more of Do's work till 2nd Jan 2016!

I hope you are as inspired as I am after this little sharing of my experience at STPI. One has got to keep learning and experience new places, new techniques! With most of my illustration and art work on paper and recently a hype with animating them, I had the thought of doing a personal mini illustration home-project with paper and incorporating factors of print-making, with all that I have at home!

*Special thanks to Esther of STPI for having us!