Singapore Biennale 2019 Artist Amanda Heng Wins 12th Benesse Prize

Published : Monday, January 13, 2020, 12:58 pm
ACROFAN=PRNewswire | | SNS

Benesse Prize ceremony kicks off the Biennale's 2020 Programmes at Singapore Art Week

SINGAPORE, Jan. 13, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Singapore Biennale 2019 participating artist Amanda Heng (Singapore) has won the 12th Benesse Prize. The award recognises an artist whose exhibited work embodies an experimental and critical spirit and demonstrates an artistic reflection around the theme of "Benesse" (Well-Being). Presented by Benesse Holdings, Inc (Benesse) in collaboration with Singapore Art Museum (SAM), the Benesse Prize has been the official award of the Singapore Biennale since 2016. In 2016, the Prize was won by Singapore Biennale 2016 artist Pannaphan Yodmanee (Thailand), who will be exhibiting a work at Benesse Art Site Naoshima, Japan in 2020.

Amanda Heng and Every Step Counts

Amanda Heng's SB2019 commission Every Step Counts (2019) is a multi-disciplinary project that invites participation and encourages intimate conversation in her performative works. Often harnessing everyday situations to explore complex socio-political issues, Heng revisits her seminal 'Let's Walk' series that was first performed in 1999. Drawing upon the act of walking, the artist moves forward, looks back, turns inward and ventures outward with others. In so doing, she generates reflections and perspectives, as well as comes to terms with the limits and stamina of the aging body.

In addition to Heng, the artists shortlisted for the 12th Benesse Prize included: Dusadee Huntrakul (Thailand), Haifa Subay (Yemen), Hera Buyuktasciyan (Turkey), and Robert Zhao Renhui (Singapore). The jury for the 2019 prize includes Ade Darmawan, Artist and Member of ruangrupa; Eugene Tan, Director of Singapore Art Museum and National Gallery Singapore; Gong Yan, Director of Power Station of Art; Valentine Willie, Director of ILHAM Gallery, and Akiko Miki, International Artistic Director of Benesse Art Site Naoshima.

SB2019 during Art Week 2020

Singapore Biennale 2019 (SB2019) returns for its sixth edition, with 77 artists and art collectives from 36 countries and territories. Titled Every Step in the Right Direction, the international contemporary art exhibition invites the public to engage with the act of artistic exploration, drawing on the importance of making choices and taking steps to consider the conditions of contemporary life and the human endeavour for change. Commissioned by the National Arts Council and organised by the Singapore Art Museum (SAM), the Singapore Biennale is running until 22 March 2020 across 11 venues in the city, including National Gallery Singapore, Gillman Barracks, LASALLE College of the Arts, and Singapore Management University de Suantio Gallery.

During Singapore Art Week 2020 (11–19 January), SB2019 presents a range of programmes for visitors across the 11 venues. Highlights include Jason Wee's performance at W!LD RICE (19 January), an Assemblage Workshop led by artist Khairullah Rahim and Curator-led tours (18 January). Students will be empowered to organise events and programmes to engage other young audiences to explore the Singapore Biennale in Youths Take Over (18-19 January).

Diverse Programmes for All Ages

In the coming months, SB2019 invites visitors to engage with the exhibition through a range of programmes, activities and tours for all ages. Throughout the exhibition's run, daily guided tours are offered to gain insight into the featured artworks and artists at National Gallery Singapore and Gillman Barracks in English, Mandarin and Japanese, with a free weekend shuttle bus between these two sites every Saturday and Sunday.

SB2019 will also be reaching out to seniors through specially designed Biennale programmes, starting with free admission for Merdeka and Pioneer Generation card holders. The programmes include creative workshops, accessibility programmes and multilingual art tours, designed to engage young minds and senior members of the community. A series of themed curator tours will also be offered in February and March, starting with a special Valentine's Day tour of the Biennale. Over the two months, there will also be tours for families with kids, to commemorate International Women's Day, and more.

In addition, SB2019 will introduce a series of Art & Wellness programmes in its galleries to encourage awareness, mindfulness and art appreciation through events such as yoga, gong baths, and guided Meditations. The Biennale will also host a two-day symposium 'Right Here, Right Now: Constellating Worlds in the Contemporary' (6–7 March) that builds on its title to explore ways of confronting and re-working the world through contemporary art and examine how action and rightfulness can enable us to move in the right direction, together.

The complete press kit and images can be downloaded from:

A complete calendar of programme details can be found at

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