Japan Creative Centre, Singapore
During her residency at Youkobo, Yeo Shih Yun further explored the unusual means of making art using toy robots. These little machines inform the creative process by replacing the personal touch or signature stroke with a mechanical means. The result is a collaboration between the toy robots and the artist. Shih Yun also collaborated with her former graphic designer classmate from LASALLE College of the Arts (1999-2001), Kunihiro Masuko, and his technician, Yoshimi Yomogida, who has more than 30 years of experience in offset printing.
Kunihiro Masuko had recently taken over his father’s print shop and had a printing machine that could print up to A3 size in a single colour and was good for short print-runs. The process of offset printing is often very precise and perfect. And yet, in this collaboration with Mr. Yomogida, the artsits broke almost every traditional rule. First, the oil-based ink was mixed directly in the roller. Then, the “ghost” image created by using insufficient ink was printed onto the works. Each print was turned and printed up to three times, inducing a layered effect. The results of the 500 prints were very spontaneous, and their colours slightly varied, so no two prints were totally identical.
The process of creating the final wall installation started with collecting the marks from the toy robots using Sumi ink on a roll of paper. Digital photographs of the most interesting marks were taken, then layered to form new compositions using Adobe Photoshop, and image-editing software. A film and plate of the final 30cm by 30cm composition were cast and printed using the traditional offset printer model, the Heidelberg Printmaster QM. 40 prints were chosen out of the total of 500 in an installation at the Youkobo Art Space.
The decision to create a square composition was inspired by the concept of tiling, which uses one pattern to create a single, large visual. As an abstract painter, Shih Yun chose to form the pattern after her paintings, which are asymmetrical and random. Each installation was site-specific. Special thanks to Kunihiro Masuko, Yoshimi Yomogida, and Terminal Sate-light, in Arakawa-ku, Tokyo, for their assistance in this work.