Eighth Labor narrates an imagined coming of age trial of fantasy labor- one that is filled with contradictions and fatigues.

The title borrows from Hercules' eighth labor, Mares of Diomedes when our hero who was searching for self-redemption, was tasked to bring back Diomedes' man-eating horses. The masculine figure in the performance was carrying a toy horse, recognizable as Cherry Berry from the well-known children cartoon, My Little Pony. Roles are swapped in this re-imagination of the eighth labor as the plastic figurine becomes symbols of sexuality and masculine fertility- though at the same time it is contrastingly kawaii and child-like.

The considerably physical short performance is also injected other narratives that help to build the image of hard work. The biblical story of Jacob and Laban from Genesis 29 is subtly hinted through the repetitive laborious action, one that might not suggest both a beginning and an end. The figure is humorously plowing a sheeted mattress with a plastic dustpan, mimicking a farm hoe- almost as if he is engrossed in a personal gimmick. The striking synthetic yellow hair from Cherry Berry constantly sticks out of his dry lips, further illustrating a conflicted situation between adulthood and adolescence that is fueled with sexual tensions.

The performance is accompanied by a collection of paper sculptures embellished with plastic ornaments that are very craft-like. Physically they may suggest some sort of fruits but also the rough surface accompanied by the glistening fashion may give an impression of something precious- stones maybe. This is further reimagined through a possible eighth dwarf from the famous bedtime story, Snow White. In its Disney's 1937 animation, the dwarves are portrayed to be untiringly working- mining for gems. The performance perhaps, may illustrate references to this as a enhanced image of masculinity.

Eighth Labor is still after all, an experiment that eventually aims to push the limit of the artist's masculine identity through a fantastical process that is inspired by both contrasting notions of adolescence and adulthood.

performance - Eight Labor


The Laborer

The Pony