Local contemporary artist and curator Amanda Heng has won the 12th Benesse Prize for her Singapore Biennale 2019 commission, titled Every Step Counts. This marks the first time a Singaporean artist has won the prestigious prize, sponsored by Japanese conglomerate Benesse in collaboration with Singapore Art Museum.
Amanda is known for making art that explores real-world issues through everyday activities – whether it's walking, plucking beansprouts, or drinking coffee. In this award-winning piece, Amanda revisits her seminal Let's Walk series that was first performed in 1999, touring countries such as Indonesia, Japan, Germany, Spain and France. Every Step Counts plays on the act of walking, seeing the artist move forward, look back, turn inward, and venture outward with others.
The Benesse Prize comes with a cash award of $36,900, and a chance for her work to be exhibited at Japan's Benesse Art Site Naoshima. Other artists shortlisted for the 12th Benesse Prize include Dusadee Huntrakul (Thailand), Haifa Subay (Yemen), Hera Büyüktaşçıyan (Turkey), and Robert Zhao Renhui (Singapore).
Amanda's next Live Walk Performance will take place on February 29 and March 21 from 7am to 10am. She'll be walking from SAM's hoarding along Bras Basah Road to the Esplanade Tunnel, where her SB2019 work Every Step Counts is sited. Participation is free.