We Are the World – These Are Our Stories is a highly unique presentation of a single work comprising twelve personal stories of twelve individuals. This is the performance artist’s first-ever solo gallery exhibition unveiling a never-before-seen work; a definitive milestone in her prolific career which spans over two decades. Heng applies her collaborative and process-driven approach to printing and papermaking techniques, pushing the STPI Creative Workshop team to create art beyond the Creative Workshop space, a first for STPI.
The inception of this work began with Let’s Chat, Heng’s iconic performance piece, where she engaged twelve participants from all walks of life in a conversation over cleaning beansprouts. Each person chose a treasured object or heirloom as a starting point of conversation. Through this, Heng drew out values central to the individual and that became the foundation of each story. This close engagement with the public is critical to Heng’s practice; her works are noted and celebrated for their universal relevance in highlighting social issues, especially vanishing values and the disintegration of the social fabric in the face of modernity. We Are the World – These Are Our Stories embodies the earnest spirit of this pioneer female artist in bringing about social change—through creating art that has meaning for the ordinary man and woman.
For this collaboration, Heng propelled the STPI Creative Workshop team to venture beyond the Creative Workshop space; she wove QR codes into each story to include digital mediums into the work—yet another first for her. As STPI Chief Printer Eitaro Ogawa puts it, this work 'extends the territory of collaboration to communities, bringing communication from the artist to the public to another level. It was a different way of working and making artwork (for the STPI Creative Workshop team), and it stretched our ability beyond the knowledge of print and papermaking.'
We Are the World – These Are Our Stories is a chef-d’œuvre, packed with break-throughs and bold innovation. This is the first time that both Heng and STPI embark on a project that extends beyond the traditional artist residency and the physical institution itself.
Amanda Heng is a full-time art practitioner. She adopts an interdisciplinary approach to her art practice, focusing on the issues of history, memory, communication and human relationships in urban condition. She has exhibited in major galleries, festivals and artist-run projects in Singapore and the international scene, including the Asia-Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art, the Havana Biennial, the Fukuoka Asian Art Triennial and the inaugural Singapore Biennale. Hailed as one of Singapore’s most important artists by Sean Tobin, the Artistic Director of the Singapore Fringe Festival, her iconic, culturally symbolic performance piece Let’s Walk, which has been performed extensively across both local and international platforms since 1999, has been chosen to be the theme of the Singapore Fringe Festival 2018, the first in a series of instalments themed after celebrated Singaporean artists in honour of their significant contributions in shaping the local art scene.
One of the founding members of The Artists’ Village and WITA.SG (Women in the Arts), Heng is a Cultural Medallion recipient who has been a formative figure in the local arts landscape since the 1980s, and she continues to be an important presence, having lectured at Nanyang Technological University and the National Institute of Education, Singapore, and sat on the selection and curatorial committee for the President’s Young Talents Exhibition in 2009. She currently supervises Master of Art students at LASALLE College of the Arts.
Heng joined nine other artists, including Wilson Shieh, Yuken Teruya, Navin Rawanchaikul, Lin Tianmiao, Xu Bing and Michael Lin to produce a joint-portfolio at STPI ten years ago, which was then presented at Asian Contemporary Art in Print, a collaboration between Asia Society (New York) and STPI, as part of the Asia Society’s 50th anniversary. Prior to her residency at STPI, Heng completed a residency with the NTU Centre for Contemporary Art Singapore (CCA) in 2015.
Press release courtesy STPI.
Artist and Cultural Medallion recipient Amanda Heng has gone rebel at 65. Such a thought might cross one's mind when viewing her first solo show at leading print and paper institute STPI. The exhibition, We Are The World - These Are Our Stories , is dominated by a single new work comprising 24 prints. Of them, half are digitally rendered images...