Singapore Government Press Release
Media Division, Ministry of Information, Communications and the Arts,
MITA Building, 140 Hill Street, 2nd Storey, Singapore 179369
SPEECH BY DR TONY TAN KENG YAM, DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER AND MINISTER FOR DEFENCE, AT THE LAUNCH OF SINGAPORE TYLER PRINT INSTITUTE HELD ON WEDNESDAY, 10 APRIL 2002 AT 7.00 PM AT ROBERTSON QUAY
I am very pleased to be here this evening to officiate the opening of the Singapore Tyler Print Institute.
Singapore is entering a challenging new phase of development. After four decades of nation building, our nation has achieved remarkable success based on solid economic fundamentals, and drawing on the collective energy and hard work of our people. However, in the years ahead, creativity and ingenuity will increasingly move into the heart of our economic competitiveness. To fuel our next lap of growth, we must build on our strong foundation to encourage creativity and ingenuity in Singapore.
Encouraging creativity and ingenuity in our people requires us to look at our arts and cultural assets, not as a luxurious activity, but as a strategic national resource to anchor our nation�s future success. Apart from conferring social benefits to the nation, building such cultural capital is also a powerful determinant of our innovative capacity and economic competitiveness. For example in the US and UK, creative industries which directly or indirectly produce cultural products, account for more than 5% of their respective GDP. Cultural vibrancy and high quality of life also helps to attract the best people and businesses to Singapore to give us a competitive edge. Most importantly, cultural capital liberates the creativity of our people, enabling them to be creative in ways that involve but also go beyond the arts and culture.
In the context of remaking Singapore, we have to re-examine how we can strengthen our investments in our cultural capital to bring about a Creative Singapore. We want to build a Singapore where culture and creativity permeates every sphere of our activities, fostering an active environment for our people to explore, discover and invent, in other words, an innovation habitat which will nurture our entrepreneurs and innovators.
The launch of the Singapore Tyler Print Institute (or STPI) is thus timely. A world-class printmaking institution like the STPI which is led by renowned master printmaker, Ken Tyler, can play a very important catalytic role to develop cultural capital in Singapore. Let me elaborate.
First, STPI can help to catalyse the growth of the creative industries in Singapore. Capitalising on the convergence of art, technology and business, applied arts industries such as publishing, textile and graphic design, fashion, advertising, photography, arts and craft, etc, can all benefit from and tap into STPI's potential. Similarly, the traditional arts can receive a boost from the presence of STPI, through the Institute�s synergistic collaboration with partners such as visual artists, museums, galleries, etc. SPTI and these creative industries can become co-partners in product innovation, seeding the growth of differentiated products across all sectors of the economy, hence contributing to a new creative economy. This in turn, will increase the scope and number of creative occupations, and create new jobs for our people.
Second, through its Visiting Artists Programme, STPI will become an experimental haven for international artists from all over the world. These visiting artists bring with them fresh new ideas and cultural perspectives that we can learn, adopt and adapt from.
Third, through its comprehensive training and educational programmes, STPI will develop our very own talents in the art of printmaking: master printers, papermakers and apprentices. STPI will partner with our local art schools and tertiary institutions in its Education Link Programme. Our students will not only get a chance to learn the art of printmaking, but be inspired by world class artists who will be invited to create their work here and to share their expertise through the Visiting Artists Programme. It is through such platforms that our young people will dare to dream big dreams for themselves, experiment with their art, and aspire to produce works of high quality.
STPI has the potential to establish itself as an international node for the art of printmaking. Towards this end, STPI intends to host seminars to cater to the Asia-Pacific region in advanced print and papermaking. The Institute will also participate in international art fairs, and market Singapore as a global city of the arts. STPI will act as a centre for dialogue and exchange in the art world that will bring about a meeting of minds, talent and experts in Singapore.
The arts are not meant only for the elite or well to do. Everyone has a stake in it. The arts can help build wealth and create jobs through growth in creative industries and occupations. We can no longer rely solely on traditional industries.
We need to move on to creative industries that are intensive in knowledge and intellectual capital; industries that will give us a cutting edge and fulfil the twin function of becoming an engine of growth for our economy and raising our quality of life.
On this note, I am pleased to declare the Singapore Tyler Print Institute open.