Amanda Heng (b. 1951, Singapore) has been a full-time art practitioner since the late 1980s. Adopting an interdisciplinary approach to her art practice, she deals with clashing of eastern and western values, traditions and gender roles in the context of a multi-cultural and fast-changing society of Singapore. Recently she expended her study in identity politics addressing issues of history, memory, communication and human relationships in urban condition and the changes and its impact on the body and life. She often works in collaboration with people of different cultural backgrounds from art as well as non-art fields, and led her to closer examination of the roles of the audience and collaboration practices.
Heng was involved in the founding of two artist initiatives in Singapore, The Artists’ Village in 1988, and WITA (Women In the Arts) in 1999. She is also actively involved in conceptualising, curating, organising and participating in exhibitions, public art commissions, public discourse, and forums such as Women And Their Arts, The 1st Asian film Appreciation workshop, Women About Women, Memories of Sense, and Conditions of Production. Heng’s works have been collected by the Fukuoka Asian Art Museum, The Singapore Art museum and other private collectors. She received the prestigious Cultural Medallion Award in 2010.
Embodying broad themes of history and memory, Heng’s explorations with the STPI Workshop has led to a multidisciplinary production that encompasses 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 (1999), in which the preparation of beansprouts brought people together and facilitated conversations sharing and recollection.