The French-American artist, Robert Filliou once said that the purpose of art was to reveal how much more interesting life is. For me, the task is to ask how can the arts become a meaningful part of the everyday experience for not just some people but for everyone.
I started making art in the 80s. I was a founding member of the Artists Village, the first artist-run alternative art space in Singapore. I then worked with another alternative art centre, The Substation, in 1994. Since then I have been practising art full-time and have been organising and participating in exhibitions and events in Singapore and overseas.
Concerned with the clashing of eastern and western values, traditions and gender roles in the context of the rapidly changing multi-cultural society of Singapore, my recent work involves collaborations with people from all fields and different cultural backgrounds. I believe it is the best way to gain a better understanding of complexity in social relationships and interactions.
This performance, added value, a collage of women’s lives and works juxtaposes video, sound, texts and live body. It is a critical inquiry into the notion of women’s work in patriachal capitalist culture: the task of being women.
Women work for human reproduction, care and survival. The labouring sex, from the time girls are very small they learn that time is for work. But women’s effort is still not considered to be „realwork“. In the home, women statistically appear as idle, economically inactive and dependent.
In Singapore, running a household and raising children was once the responsibility of parents. But today, this job is often relegated to an inexpensive foreign maid - another woman who often supports her own children from afar by caring for someone elses family.
In globalised economies, women represent much needed labour, often duplicating outside the house the functions they carried out in the home. Their labour is important but not valuable. Surplus benefit, added value, they nevertheless provide a vital competitive edge in the free market economy.
Amanda Heng (Singapur)
Amanda Heng (SG), added value, performance 5.7.2000 in Tornitz