Embodying broad themes of history and memory, Amanda Heng (b. 1951, Singapore) is a pioneer of the Singaporean contemporary art; exploring social issues of the nation’s fast-changing and multicultural society. One of the founding members of art collectives The Artist’s Village in 1988 and Women in the Arts (WITA) in 1999, Heng is the recipient of 2001 Cultural Medallion; a highly prestigious cultural award acknowledging the contributions to the development of Singapore’s cultural landscape.
The artist’s explorations with the STPI Workshop has led to a multidisciplinary production, which encompassed both performance as well as visual elements. Spun around the stories of twelve individuals, the exhibition invites viewers to rediscover the reconstructed significance of another’s cherished belongings – and the intimate memories tied to them.
In collaboration with the participants, Heng used the treasured objects or heirlooms offered by the individuals as starting points for an exploratory process of sharing. This process was catalysed by her performatory work Let’s Chat (1996), in which the preparation of cleaning bean sprouts with the artist brought people together, rediscovered simpler joys of the kampong (Malay for “village”) life, and facilitated sharing in recollecting one’s identity. The works were showcased in STPI under the title, Amanda Heng: We Are the World – These Are Our Stories (2017).