Elizabeth Briel, Travel Artist

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Printing Singapore

There’s a lot more to Singapore than its famous restrictions on gum-chewing and jaywalking (and its other, less-publicized laws against racial slurs).

It’s a great city to show art. Singapore’s infrastructure and incomes are in good shape, and art is a key component of every world-class city.  The success of this year’s Art Singapore and other events shows the government’s priority to cultivate more than just bank balances.

Recently I took the train down to Singapore from Penang to check out the Singapore Tyler Print Institute.

Singapore Tyler Print Institute: walkway

Named after the groundbreaking American master printer Kenneth Tyler (who has closed his New York printmaking studio), its workshop contains his equipment shipped over from the USA. The STPI, like Tyler’s New York studio, focuses on collaborations with major and upcoming artists who work in different media.

Singapore Tyler Print Institute: Welcome

These artists might otherwise never work with printmaking at the height of their careers. Most high-quality print techniques require expensive equipment and years of expertise.

With assistants at STPI, artists can experiment with new media, consult print and papermaking experts, and create a series within the brief timeframe of a few weeks.

Bonus: affordable limited editions for collectors, the institute, and the artist.

Singapore Tyler Print Institute: hallway

During my visit the STPI featured a series by Jimmy Ong, a local artist who now lives in the USA.

“It was a sellout show,” smiled a docent as she passed by.

Singapore Tyler Print Institute: office

In the office I spotted several prints by Tabaimo, a Japanese artist most known for her animation works. The catalog of her STPI prints was unfortunately sold out: beautifully-designed and printed, it was one of my favorites.

Singapore Tyler Print Institute: print file

STPI connects with the community in many ways: through workshops and residencies with visiting artists, internships, and studio rentals for local artists.

The Tyler print collection at Australia’s National Gallery is on my to-visit list in January.

Singapore Tyler Print Institute: view

It’s also located in a beautiful part of town, bordering the promenade along Robertson Quay and the Singapore river.

My only gripe? All the best restaurants and bars nearby close from 2-6pm. If you visit during this time, you’ll have to wander around parched until you find a place willing to serve you a mid-afternoon beer.

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