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Singapore Police (I)


November 2010 issue,Hi Art

In 2004 and 2005, Singapore Tyler Print Research Institute asked me to create some works on ink-and-wash paintings, for which I lived there for about 4 months successively. With perfect large-scale arts facilities and institutions, Singapore has held Art Biennale and exhibitions second to none in Asia. Local people love and enjoy arts so much that even common snack bars and newsstands sell posters of works done by famous artists such as Jeff Koons and Chuck Cruise in addition to Time, Newsweek, New York Times, South China Morning Post and the local United Morning Post. Also known as Singapore Tyler Print Institute (STPI), Singapore Tyler Print Research Institute was established 9 years ago by moving completely the Tyler Studio in New York to Singapore with funds offered by Singapore government and local public. During the four months I worked here, senior officials and civil personages visited my studio in STPI from time to time for exchanging ideas. Liu Taige (Liu Thai Ker), who has been entitled “Father of World City Planning”, Chairman of Singapore Arts Council, visited me twice asking after my needs. Tharman Shanmugaratnam, Minister of Education, also enquired me about how to carry out and improve arts education in Singapore. Although I had not been a teacher before and did not know how to make prints even after entering the studio, they still listened to my groundless words with patience and humility, and left their emails to me for further communication in future. What Singapore government hopes is to become one of the centers, like Japan, producing prints in Asia and even the world, with such a slogan, “New Asia-Singapore”.

In this beautiful country of gardens, people are kind, reserved, serious, working hard, civilized, and friendly, which do not mean a lack of ambition and personality. When attending the exit formalities at Changi Airport with luggage, one will see counters in a row, and each policeman’s seat is equipped with a long mirror put horizontally regardless of police rank. At first I thought that people in this beautiful country pursued beauty so enthusiastically that even policemen kept looking into the mirror during working time. Then people told me that they are required by the government to keep smile on the face and treat travelers with politeness, which is reminded by using the mirror all the time.

One can seldom see a policeman on the street of Singapore. People say that police here are invisible and untraceable: although few police can be seen there, they will come as soon as possible when accidents happen, as if they appear from nowhere.

Tyler Print Institute, where I worked, is located at Clarke Quay by Singapore River, next to a bar street like Sanlitun Area in Beijing. However, no noise could be heard even at night, at least not heard by me. The Institute has three stories. With individual kitchens and cleaning service, the top floor, which is wide, is used as habitations for artists, similar to an apartment hotel. Well designed, spacious and bright, the middle floor is used as studios for visiting artists. My studio in Baiziwan was decorated imitating those in STPI. The ground floor has a workshop of producing prints and a special paper mill where excellent print-making and papermaking technicians from at least 5 countries are working. The Institute has perfect security facilities: there is a combination lock at the ground floor and the artists’ studios on the second floor respectively. Those two locks have different codes which are changed frequently. Once I wanted to work in the studio in the evening, and then I pressed incorrect codes by accident. When I was pondering what the changed codes they had notified me in the day were, two policemen in uniform, who were fully equipped, appeared suddenly. (To be continued)


Zhu Wei

Sunday, October 17th, 2010








二零零四年二零零五年前后两次新加坡泰勒版画研究机构叫我去做一些和水墨画有关的作品,为此我先后在新加坡住了近四个月。新加坡各种艺术设施、机构相当完善,规模也相当庞大,艺术双年展、博览会在亚洲也是首屈一指,人们普遍热爱艺术、欣赏艺术,连普通的小吃店、报摊,除了售卖《时代周刊》、《Newsweek》、《纽约时报》、《南华早报》及新加坡当地的《联合早报》外,还出售象杰夫·昆斯、恰克·克鲁斯的作品海报。新加坡泰勒版画研究机构又称新加坡泰勒版画研究院(STPI),是九年前由新加坡政府和民间共同出资,把位于纽约的泰勒工作室整个搬到新加坡的。在我短短的四个月工作期间,新加坡政府高层、民间人士多次来泰勒我的工作室参观交流。其中被誉为世界城市规划之父的新加坡国家艺术理事会主席刘太格两次来工作室参观,问寒问暖。新加坡政府教育部长Tharman Shanmugaratnam也前来询问新加坡的艺术教育该怎么搞怎么完善等等。虽然我一天书也没教过,甚至就连到了这个工作室我还不知道版画该怎么弄,他们还是耐心谦虚地听我白话,并留了他们的电子邮箱地址,已备进一步交流。新加坡政府希望能像日本那样成为亚洲乃至世界的版画制作中心、艺术中心之一。新加坡的口号是新亚洲、新加坡。