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Art Trip to the Singapore Tyler Print Institute

On Wednesday 29th September we were lucky enough to visit the Singapore Tyler Print institute. We saw an exhibition, toured a workshop and had the opportunity to create etchings with aquatint. We arrived as a Japanese artist named Shinro Ohtake was exhibiting his work and we had a tour around many of his pieces; it was very interesting to see how he used materials he had never worked with to produce the pieces he did. STPI hosts artists that have never worked with printing media to push the boundaries of the techniques and see what else can be produced by a fresh mind.

Shinro is fluent with a range of mediums from sculpting to painting to sketching and even installations and music videos. During his stay in STPI he was able to further develop his knowledge of printmaking and produced an exhibition worth of artworks. Shinro’s artwork is a compilation of different mediums together. He incorporates print making with paper pulp mixed in with the pigment to produce his extraordinary pieces. His artworks are inspired by real life events. Many of the pieces are displayed in a bright yellow tinted frame, as a representation of the March 2011 earthquake and Fukushima disaster in Japan, referencing uranium and radiation.

In the workshop we learnt etching. We had a degreased copper plate on which we added a layer of wax. We then sketched through this layer and put it in an acid bath for 10 mins. We removed it from the acid and cleaned it with shellsol and alcohol. We inked the plate using a technique to push the ink into the lines and we were finally able to put it through the press. We then added aquatint to create tone, this was a thin layer of resin powder heated onto the plate. Then we added black varnish to areas which were to stay white, which was confusing. This went into the acid and we repeated the process to create a range of tone.

Following this, we went down to the workshop while we waited for our plates to cool, where most of the artists worked with their personal projects, for example we met a technician who was sculpting a model of a turtle shell, while others worked on screen printing, which was interesting to see. There were massive printing presses in the main area with a separate area for papermaking.

It was a fantastic day and we have all learnt so much about printmaking and we even managed to produce our own artwork.

Lower Sixth Artists

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