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Mad About Chocolate

15 March 2014

Performance lectures between artist Joycelyn Wong & Elizabeth Lim,  as curated by Louis Ho. 



"Pasarcaya, a piece by local performance artist Elizabeth Lim, was presented as an intervention during a performance lecture by Louis Ho on contemporary Southeast Asian art. It was executed through the use of materials such as rope and tea. Twining a long piece of rope tied around her, Lim approached members of the audience, serving tea to them by kneeling and presenting a cup to each attendee. As the piece proceeded, the artist became more and more entangled in the ropes and  trying to serve the audience proved to be progressively more challenging, and bodily encumbered. The gesture of entwining both the artist's own body and that of the collective body of the audience is intended to evoke the role of the public in creating meaning and markets: most artists today are subject to the whims of the market and the broader public. Pasarcaya is a play on two words from Bahasa Melayu; "pasar", meaning market, and "caya", from the word "bercaya/percaya" which is to believe or understand".


“Mad About Chocolate (2014)” is a performance by Singapore artist Joycelyn Wong. Taking her reference from a George Orwell’s novel – 1984,

“The first fragment of chocolate had melted on Winston’s tongue. The taste was delightful. But there was still that memory moving round the edges of his consciousness, something strongly felt but not reducible to a definite shape, like an object seen out of the corner of one’s eye. He pushed it away from him, aware only that it was the memory of some action he would have liked to undo but could not ”

The artist abstracted the state of mind, which Winston was in and used it in her performance. In the novel, chocolate was used as metaphor for a regretted memory. The artist identified with the character in the novel as she shares a similar regret after she bleached her hair, causing it to be very dry and dull. Being sat comfortably in front of a stool with a table mirror, the action of dowsing her hair in chocolate mimics the way she would dye her hair at home.