When Simone Chua finished her degree in Industrial Design, she knew the corporate world was not for her. Instead, she dreamed of exploring art and collaborative projects. Simone took the first steps to pursue this dream by renting an art studio in Sydney and connecting with like-minded people. In this studio, Amigo & Amigo was born and has since captured people’s imaginations through giant, playful, interactive artwork.
The first project Amigo & Amigo delivered was for TEDx. It was made of cardboard and used LED lighting inside to create an extra layer of depth highlighting the folded forms. Simone’s love of the use of light with sculpture was set.
Commissioned to create artworks worldwide, Amigo & Amigo has delivered installations for light festivals from Beijing to Washington.
“The wonderful thing about light festivals is that they happen in the winter months when cities are quieter, so they are a reason for people to go out and discover new places. They invite and encourage people to engage and become part of the outcome of the artworks. By putting these projects in public spaces, we hope to transform these areas, giving them a new purpose and feeling for the community.”
Amigo & Amigo’s ethos is all about play, seeking to engage people of all ages with one another in the act of experimentation when interacting with their artwork. Music and light create a wonderfully immersive experience, activating all senses. Simone’s favourite art piece is Affinity, an artwork about Alzheimer’s and the human brain. When Amigo & Amigo presented the artwork, Simone was moved to see how many people had loved ones impacted by Alzheimer’s and the intimate conversations that were sparked and exchanged between strangers throughout the exhibition. She realised how projects like these could open up dialogue around important social issues.
Pursuing a career as a professional artist is not an easy one. However, Simone is grateful for her time at Loreto Kirribilli and its extensive Arts program, inspiring her to pursue a career without a predefined trajectory. Her advice to any other young [Loreto] women looking to start their own business?
“Trust your instincts! Stay committed and consistent and find a supportive and diverse community. Be generous and passionate with your approach, and people will notice.”
After a long two-year wait, Amigo & Amigo are excited to present four new major artworks at this year’s Vivid festival in Sydney, bringing joy once again to the iconic harbourside location.
Author: Jennifer Davis, Content Coordinator & Creator, Loreto Ministries
Feature Image: Simone Chua, Director of Amigo & Amigo Body Images: Affinity, an artwork about Alzheimer’s and the human brain Carousel of Images (L-R): Light Cloud, Cocoon, Gallo Chileno, Landscape of the Mind