A male-identifying body is present in a space with his one foot partially submerged in cold water, tip-toeing on top of a mountain of small pebbles within a glass container. His other foot on the ground, he struggles to keep his balance upright. He is almost naked, covered only with a white jockstrap, a suggestion of his involvement in sports, which is further reflected by the durational aspect of this piece, building on perseverance and stamina. Nonetheless, he is also an infant in a diaper or an adolescent facing sexual awakening.   

In his hand he has a milk plastic bottle filled with bubble liquid. Slowly, he blows into a clear straw, resulting in hyacinth-shaped bubbles sprouting from his mouth: phallic foam, an unfamiliar object growing from his jaw.

The bubble accumulates throughout the performance, leaving a residue of an energetic action performed repeatedly. The body is passive, almost like a living sculpture, moving very subtly. His presence is almost suggesting birth.

Forcing Hyacinth borrows the narrative of the botany process of forcing hyacinth bulbs to flower. The piece pays reference to the Greek mythology of the flower as well as to a social context; it is a commentary towards the pressure, self-inflicted or otherwise, of growing up.

Photo Credit: Tian Qi Liu.


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