Perhaps owing to her ballet background, Lieko Shiga’s works, done during her residency as part of the BMW Young Asian Artists Series 2007, create a stage for both humans and locations. Setting the scene, she then recaptures it through photography, turning the ordinary into extraordinary. At STPI, the subjects of her prints are people whom she met in Singapore during her residency: Keng, Isabel’s Family, Baby Tamaki and Lily. In each image, she has created a mise-en-scène for her subjects, accentuating their dramatic qualities through further manipulation with print. For instance, she employed screenprinting techniques to create sprawling tattoos on Keng’s upper body, and additional pools of colour in Tamaki and Lily’s uncanny fantastical spaces. The juxtaposition of real people and their illusionary surroundings, such as Isabel’s Family, provokes unease and evoke a surreal, mysterious quality to her works.
The BMW Young Asian Artist Series 2007 represents the successful partnership between corporate sponsor BMW Asia and Singapore Tyler Print Institute (STPI), with the aim of providing young and emerging artists to explore the artistic potential of print.
Under this series, 5 artists from Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand, each proficient in different disciplines, were invited to create 4 new works at STPI within a challenging 2-week time frame. Working in close collaboration with chief printer Eitaro Ogawa and his team of printers, the artists made use of all the printmaking techniques at their disposal, resulting in 21 works diverse in content and technique.