trip

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!

Pigment at Tennozu Isle, Tokyo

Made a trip to Pigment at Tennozu Isle, off Shinagawa seaside after reading the report by Colossal.

Walls of pigment crystals, pigment binders and mixers, papers and brushes, it's like a wonderland of Colours!

Learnt so much on Colours and materials and textures!

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These walls of pigments are harvested from mineral rocks of different Colours and shades.

A mineral rock sample. What Colours do you see?  

A mineral rock sample. What Colours do you see?  

Colours and shades 

Colours and shades 

I never knew there were that many shades of colour(and rocks)! Some so close that was tough for me to differentiate them.

Walls of jars of pigments! 

Walls of jars of pigments! 

Within the traditional tools we spotted a new brush that doesn't quite look like one because it's a finger brush! It comes in all finger and brush sizes of small to large too!

Paint with your fingers with the finger brush  

Paint with your fingers with the finger brush  

Staff working at the store are real artists and they were so friendly in telling us more about each item and letting us try them out at the free space at the back of the store.

The lovely Mslatenightjam trying out the finger brush.  

The lovely Mslatenightjam trying out the finger brush.  

Papers dated back a long time in China as well as Japan. For Japanese painting, a variety of papers can be found of different textures and thickness with some really fancy ones with little gold leaves in them.

Japanese sumi art paper  

Japanese sumi art paper  

They also have an enormous collection of handmade brushes for Japanese painting. Some really micro-thin and some as thick as my domestic broom! These are all handmade by traditional craftsmen.

Walls of brushes of different shapes and sizes  

Walls of brushes of different shapes and sizes  

One particular item caught my eye and stole my heart. Not a brush but a glass capillary pen in bamboo! It's so incredibly light and it draws so well, better than any fountain pen! So addictive that we couldn't stop doodling with that! I regret not taking a video of the awesome-ness of it.

A Japanese craft TV program the other day featured the full glass pen (different from the one below) and they were so much in demand that it's a long waitlist!

The glass capillary pen in bamboo. On my wish list now! :P

The glass capillary pen in bamboo. On my wish list now! :P

So we kept trying out tools and paints. No doubt the best way to learn is to actually do, or use things! So here's our masterpiece with the paints!

Our masterpiece! (Towards the left)  

Our masterpiece! (Towards the left)  

Thank you to Mslatenightjam for coming out with me to Pigment!

Pigment is a must visit for all who love colours! They also host workshops by art professionals so keep a lookout!

Day Trip to Kamakura seaside

Made a trip to Kamakura last weekend, hoping to catch some autumn foliage though I was a little early for it. Nevertheless, it was beautiful!

Colourful traditional crafts, reinvented

Colourful traditional crafts, reinvented

Little Broom as a good luck charm for   expecting mothers

Little Broom as a good luck charm for   expecting mothers

Traditional sweet snack store

Traditional sweet snack store

Imabari towel store

Imabari towel store

Eclairs on chalk

Eclairs on chalk

My Favourite Japanese Dessert, Anmitsu!  

My Favourite Japanese Dessert, Anmitsu!  

As an illustrator, I just adore hand drawn signages.  

As an illustrator, I just adore hand drawn signages.  

Pacific drive in along the coast. Somewhat reminds me of California!  

Pacific drive in along the coast. Somewhat reminds me of California!  

Beach houses by the Bay.  

Beach houses by the Bay.  

One of my Favourite objects to shoot in Japan, the cables and lights. 

One of my Favourite objects to shoot in Japan, the cables and lights. 

That's the Sagamihara Bay towards the great Pacific Ocean

That's the Sagamihara Bay towards the great Pacific Ocean

Sunset along the coast with Enoshima. 

Sunset along the coast with Enoshima. 

Catching the sunset on paper before it is gone! It was too cloudy to see Mount Fuji at the back. 

Catching the sunset on paper before it is gone! It was too cloudy to see Mount Fuji at the back. 

An old man came and asked about my painting and gave me a photo of Diamond Fuji, where the sun sets on Mount Fuji, taken on the same spot where I was at!  

An old man came and asked about my painting and gave me a photo of Diamond Fuji, where the sun sets on Mount Fuji, taken on the same spot where I was at!  

Letterpress with Tokyo Pear

Spent an afternoon getting to know more about letterpress at Tokyo Pear's studio in Gyoda, Saitama, an hour away from Tokyo.

Tokyo Pear's letterpress cottage in the fields

Tokyo Pear's letterpress cottage in the fields

Little metal kanji character plates for letterpress!  

Little metal kanji character plates for letterpress!  

Print samples from Tokyo Pear  

Print samples from Tokyo Pear  

Original Heidelberg

Original Heidelberg

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Letterpress mould for my CNY order of greeting cards

Letterpress mould for my CNY order of greeting cards

Figuring out Colours 

Figuring out Colours 

Mixing rubber based printing ink to achieve the desired shade.  

Mixing rubber based printing ink to achieve the desired shade.  

Test printing the Colours.  

Test printing the Colours.  

All excited to receive the Chinese New Year greeting cards in a few weeks! Stay tuned!

Tokyo's green backyard

Made a day trip to probably Tokyo's best kept secret, Okutama(奥多摩).

Lush greenery and mountains with winding rivers, I was in for a great time in the woods just 1.5 hours away from bustling Shinjuku by the local train.

Bear on Tokyo? Yes beware!  

Bear on Tokyo? Yes beware!  

Crisp clean air surrounded by lush greenery and sounds of the flowing river

Crisp clean air surrounded by lush greenery and sounds of the flowing river

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Reflection of the Red bridge  

Reflection of the Red bridge  

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Local handmade soba and tempura with Kinoko steamed rice

Local handmade soba and tempura with Kinoko steamed rice

Fresh wasabi for sale

Fresh wasabi for sale