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Swinging by the past for her latest work
MANY may not be aware or have forgotten that performance artist Amanda Heng started her career as a printmaker. She revisited her first practice earlier this year at the Singapore Tyler Print Institute (STPI), which has resulted in the rare tangible pieces of work besides her transient, at-the-moment performances.
"The residency was a chance to come back to printmaking and discover the facilities that STPI offers," says Heng. But her printmaking topic continues to focus and engage with process, just like in her performance art, she points out.
In We Are the World These Are Our Stories, Heng worked with 12 people - friends and acquaintances - to explore history, memory, communication and human relationships in urban spaces. She interviewed them to produce intensely personal print works. "The end result is a visual image, but this interaction with them was a form of process and performance as well," she explains.
Heng's last major work in Singapore was her first solo in 2011, showcasing her full body of works at the Singapore Art Museum. Since then, she's been out of the limelight so to speak, because she took time to care for her mother, and also teach at different art schools. "I also needed a break after that show," she says.
While the Singapore art audience may not have seen so much of her, Heng did travel overseas for performances though. And although her residency at STPI was only for a month in April, the process was drawn out to over nine months before the final artworks were done. "Time is the most important thing, in this project and the kind of engagement I did," she declares.
- Heng's exhibition from Jan 7 to Feb 25 is also the first show kicking off STPI's 15th anniversary programme