THE NPE Art Residency is in the habit of quietly nurturing art.
The underground operation, only known via word of mouth, was founded by Daryl Goh in the National Photo Engravers’ Kallang factory in 2015.
Daryl, an educator, established the free art residency, providing space for up to 3 months, and access to the facilities of the National Photo Engravers at cost.
Danielle Tay is one of the 28 artists who has benefitted from this residency.
She is a First Class Honours graduate from the Slade School of Fine Art UCL with many of her artworks bought by private collectors in Singapore, USA, UK and Australia. Danielle has also exhibited in Moscow at the Garage Museum of Contemporary Art and the Saatchi Gallery as part of STRARTA Art Fair.
Danielle: “The residency in 2019 allowed me free rein to experiment. It gave me access to machinery and the expertise of the print factory staff who are very well trained in areas such as die cutting, and different types of printing methods.
“There was the openness to the possibility that can come about in the development of my work as a contemporary artist. My residency exhibition which showcased 10 artworks was a sold out success.”
Money is crucial to the arts. The NPE Art Residency has put in place measures to avoid the fate of many artists whose talents could not materialise due to the lack of funding.
Daryl: “Proceeds from the art exhibition at the end of the artists’ 3-month residency is split equally between the representative gallery and the pocket of the artist. The 50% collected by the representative gallery goes back to the residency to further support programmes designed for the artists in residence. On average, an art piece sold is priced between S$2,000 to S$9,000. The artists also do not pay rent for their period of residency at the factory because it is purely a sponsorship in kind.
“Residencies are good for fast emerging artists who need a certain pivot to inspire them to do two or three solo shows. Some artists come in with big ideas and they would do it with production support where needed.
“There is also no curatorial aspect to this residency because the mandate is to keep it as independent and non-institutionalised as possible.
“This residency is not for fresh graduates because the artists chosen need to plan their scope of work one year in advance. We look for a good track record that shows commitment and a certain charting of individual practice.”
*The NPE Art Residency is currently closed due to the pandemic but is slated to open for applications sometime later this year.
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