I've updated my MUSINGS with journal entries from the residency project with Studio Grafis Minggiran.
Click on the image below to redirect you to the page.
I'm still updating the page, so please check back and be surprised by new content.
At the mean time, I have categorized the blog posts related to the Grafis Minggiran x Michy Witchy residency in this link - michywitchy.weebly.com/blog/category/grafis-minggiran-residency-x-michy-witchy
The poster is out!
I'm humbled to have been invited to be part of this power packed gang of printmakers in the second installment of the Print Parade exhibition.
My recommendation is if you are in Yogyakarta in the next few days, to catch the closing of ArtJog 2016 on 27th June 2016 at 8.30pm at the Jogja National Museum. There will be special performances by Dubyouth and Liberteria.
Then stay for another day (28th June 2016) to check out Print Parade 2 held at Studio Grafis Minggiran, Gedong Kiwo, Mj. I/no.1001, which will open at 4.30pm.
The exhibition will run for a month and end on 28 July 2016.
We worked so hard together!
Here's an instagram photo from @grafis_minggiran :
I guess that means everyone's almost done with printing!
Cheers to everyone who is still in the studio tying up the loose ends and setting up the show.
I wish I can be physically there. Sending good vibes from Singapore!
'This is my last night with you...' has been crooning all over the radio while we worked for the past weeks. I never thought that it would really be the last night of my residency project here with the team behind Grafis Minggiran. These pictures were taken at about 3.41am. (My flight : 7.25am)
At this moment I had finally completed printing my editions for Print Parade #2 and Rully and Alfin continued to support me all the way as they laid out my work for signing and helped me with packing my prints.
Matur nuwun, Grafis Minggiran, for the kindness and hospitality that you have showered on me during my stay in Yogyakarta. It has been the most enriching experience working with all of you.
I am especially honored to have had the opportunity work with with skillful printmakers like Tape and Rully throughout the 17 days.
Tape and Rully has provided a nurturing environment for me to grow as a printmaker, with their professionalism, keen sensitivity to the medium, years of expertise and love for printmaking. They naturally assessed how to personalize their approach to conducting the two workshops through observation (sketchbook, gestures) and conversations, in order to spontaneously tailor make their approach to conducting the workshops suit my stubborn character.
They knew when to push and when to pull - in the process, they tore me apart, and put me back together once again. They gave me space to explore spontaneously, and to propose techniques to test out together, and encouraged me all the way. They cared. They believe in the process, appreciate the success of every print produced, and enlightened me to look at prints in a different light.
I am eternally grateful for them. This has made Tape and Rully one of the best teachers I have ever had, and in the course, impacted my life.
You know I really hate goodbyes, that's why I will be coming back!
See you all very soon.
This is the last batch of ink I would mix in the studio today...
...but this will not be the last print I will produce in Grafis Minggiran.
My plate needs a little fine tuning before it will be ready for proofing.
It must have ben the endog sticks that gave me strength to last this long.
The only problem besides the time factor, is that the paper that is to be used by all participants for Print Parade #2 has not arrived. Hence I continued to complete other unfinished business.
By this time, more artists frequent the workshop and take turns to use the press to create their printing poofs.
I love being in this studio where everyone takes pride in their work and are really serious about it. It was also really nice to see that everyone was enthusiastic about helping each other with giving advise and support.
Tape and Rully were very patient and did one-on-one guidance into the wee hours of the night for some artists who were unsure with the intaglio and alugraphy techniques.
It was a joy to witness everyone present in the workshop would take a moment from their inking/drawing/sanding of plates, in anticipation for the reveal of a print that someone was working on at the press bed, and later continue to give input on the print produced, as if surgeons on a delicate operation table, and then cheer each other on with each preceding print produced.
I continued to mix inks for more unfinished business before I called it a day.
Took a breather with Rully at 5pm to Ace House where Rudy 'Atjeh' was doing his shift of running the gallery space which had been transformed into Ace Mart. Rudy has been working in the studio with me since the commencement of Print Parade #2's schedule to work.
The exhibition, Ace Mart, turned the gallery into a grocery store that entwines the sale of artworks together with common household items you would get at a convenience store.
The exhibition aims to bring art closer to the consumer and from conversing with Rudy, he mentioned that it was nice to see the public enter Ace Mart, not knowing that it was an art space, to find art being sold amongst toothpaste, instant noodles and soap.
Ace Mart also offered an outdoor al fresco dining area, modelled from a warung. This is where artists turn cooks. It was too early for food when we were there.
I was really impressed with the quirky, yet meaningful concept, as well as the effort put into the decor which played a huge role in transforming an artspace to look convincing as a convenience store. The Ace House Collective even took pains to design plastic bags, caps, shirts, mugs and lighters with the Ace Mart brand.
I left Rudy and Ace Mart with 3 lighters which had indicated 'Ace Mart', 'Artist Manager' and 'Collector' printed on them. They are possibly the only souvenirs I would buy from this trip.
We hopped over to Kedai Kebun Forum to catch Restu's solo show, Tantrum, before it ends.
I met Restu today for a short while in the studio. She is also a participant of Print Parade #2 and came by with Tape to start working on her plate.
Coincidentally, Sari introduced me to her work over breakfast yesterday and it was great to meet her in person. I love what goes on in her mind!
So after the break, it was back to the studio to continue with etching.
(It actually sounds really nice to be able to say ' I'm going back to the studio to continue with etching'. )
Well it's really late now and this was where I left off for tonight.
I have transferred my sketch onto the plate. It couldn't have been done without prior planning.
(I really need to work swiftly as I have only 2 more days left to complete the etching and edition printing. )
Doodled some miniature sketches for my brainstorming before I finalized everything in the morning.
Here's the plate after the first round of line etching in the acid bath (left) and after using ground to cover up more areas on the plate for the next etch (right).
Little guy appeared again in the midst of the busyness of the studio, and after many more etches.
By this time I was preparing for aquatint - it was really hard to resist! I couldn't live with just a simple line etching, and my excuse is that I have more time. (Perhaps the real excuse is that I just have itchy fingers)
I attempted to capture the sound he makes again, but he just crawled all over my plate...
Just as I was seeking for inspiration for the Print Parade #2 exhibition, this little guy appeared!
This is a sub species from the Asian Long Horn Beetle. It is a Batocera, but I am unable to determine which one, as the names differ to the spots and colour on its back which I think is also determined by which fruit tree it feeds on. Still, I am glad to know of its kind.
This pinterest account has also archived many other beautiful beetles.
Also, The weather was cool with a gentle breeze after the rain when we set foot to visit ArtJog 9.
I've been too busy with my residency at Grafis Minggiran, but in actual fact, I really do want to see art too in Jogja, especially when my landlady is Sari, one of the founding members and publicity in charge of ArtJog, who worked so hard together with the team behind the annual art fair. The draw for me to take a break was to attend Maryanto's artist talk. Also, I needed some inspiration for my Print Parade #2 etching.
The works exhibited were really strong. I was also distracted by the energy that dwelled in the Jogja National Museum.
The rain started as I got there, and continued throughout the night.
Rully and I hung out with Grace, and bonded over fried tofu before we decided to take a walk back to the studio to work under an umbrella.
As more artists enter the studio in preparation for Print Parade #2, I got to observe the way each individual's nature of working. I've been fascinated with how each artist degrease and then coat their copper plates. Their personalities somehow get revealed in the process.
Rully prefers manual sanding and Tape takes to the sanding machine, as mentioned in an earlier post.
Then I met Oik Wasfuk (he goes by Nothing Sacred SvArtwork ) who spent hours sanding in tiny rotations from corner to corner of his plate, and increasing the grit size (up to 1500) of the sandpaper as he went along. He moved from the table in the workshop, to sitting down on a shorter glass table, and the last I saw of him, Oik was at the entrance of the studio, squatted and still sanding at the same spots. He took so much care of his plate, and he did not hurry.
Rully told me that's the way we should actually do it. Rudy also asked me if I had seen Oik's illustrations, because his process is also very telling of his detailled artworks.
Also, it seems like the general preference of degreasing the plate varies from place to place. For example, the Australians that they are connected with do not use sandpaper, and only use soap to degrease their plates, and from my experience, in Singapore, Kikkoman soy sauce also has a role to play in the process.
This morning while having breakfast with Maryanto, he shared that his technique of degreasing was much faster - just steel wool + brasso.
My technique? (as an amateur)
Manual Sanding from 400 grit to 800 grit to 1200 grit, circular direction then straight strokes from left to right and soap (that has calcium bicarbonate) and water. I do not like using the machine as it creates some unnecessary scratches which is visible to my eye, and then we'll still end up manual sanding it away.
I also noticed that the other artists who use the sander, attach a rag to the machine for the final step.