If you have strolled along Robertson Quay and saw the STPI building next to Singapore River, you probably wondered what is inside the heritage building. We had the chance to step inside STPI Creative Workshop & Gallery, including its workshop, which is usually off limits.
STPI Creative Workshop & Gallery, formerly known as Singapore Tyler Print Institute, is a contemporary art space that includes a spacious art gallery, workshop and rooms for hosting artists. It promotes art made with print techniques in collaboration with artists all over the world.
STPI Creative Workshop & Gallery: focused on Print & Paper
Here are five things you should know about STPI Creative Workshop & Gallery including its open house and child-friendly print workshops!
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1. Started by Ken Tyler
STPI was formerly known as Singapore Tyler Print Institute. The name Tyler refers to the founder of STPI – Ken Tyler.
He is a renowned American master printer and art dealer, known for founding Tyler Graphics, a highly renowned printmaking workshop in New York.
In the mid-1980s, Ken Tyler collaborated with the Singapore government to set up Singapore Tyler Print Institute – a print and papermaking workshop.
Through Tyler’s dedication to advance printmaking techniques and fostering collaborations between artists and master printers, this developed the contemporary printmaking field.
2. Largest Workshop Printing House in the Region
Besides a gallery, STPI has a 1,000 square metre workshop filled with presses, paper mills where artists can come and co-create.
The machines are so huge that they had to be placed in the building before the walls could be erected. Machines were used for lithography, embossing even crushing. There was even a 200-year old etching printing press.
As privileged guests attending the Behind-the-Scenes tour led by Executive Director Emi Eu, we saw how laborious the entire process of printmaking was.
It was as if time slowed down to a crawl as paper was made from scratch and prints were painstakingly made on Bavarian limestone. Ideas conceptualised had to be tested through actualisation, this could mean many hours for precision and perfection to take place.
STPI has also modernised some of the processes and some machines included digital components.
3. Public Gallery & Family Workshops
For families interested to learn more about the art of printing, they can visit STPI’s gallery and participate in family-friendly workshops on origami, screen-printing, embossing, drypoint portraiture and intaglio printing.
Visitors can also learn about the various printing techniques with explanations on the wall as well as tools and artworks displayed.
For instance, limestone lithography was invented around 1789 in Germany by a playwright who discovered it while duplicating his scripts. It became a very popular technique by 1830s and was used to create maps and advertising materials like labels, flyers and posters.
4. Artists & Shows
Visitors to STPI Creative Workshop & Gallery can also visit the exhibitions and participate in the relevant workshops.
Local artist Jane Lee will be presenting her works titled “In Praise of Silence” at STPI from 29 July to 3 September 2023.
This solo exhibition showcases a monochromatic series exploring light and shadow, ying and yang, black and white as fundamental principles that shape our understanding of the world.
5. Artist Residency Programmes at STPI
STPI Creative Workshop & Gallery also hosts artists in residency programmes. To date, STPI has hosted artists like Han Sai Por, Haegue Yang, Richard Deacon, Adeline Kueh and Pae White.
Visiting STPI Creative Workshop & Gallery at Robertson Quay
STPI Creative Workshop & Gallery is located at 41 Robertson Quay, Singapore 238236.
The gallery is open Mondays to Saturdays, 10 am to 7 pm; Sundays 11 am to 5 pm and it is closed on Public Holidays.
Find out more about STPI Creative Workshop & Gallery and its family-friendly workshops.
If you enjoy art, be sure to read this guide to a popular art museum in Singapore.