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  • Writer's pictureCristea Zhao

8. Princess Studies: Fantasy, labour and Happiness, 2015

Eisa Jocson, 

Princess Studies: Fantasy, labour and Happiness, 2015


Parasite Gallery, HK

Princess Studies is part of Eisa’s project ‘Happyland’. Ironically enough, the name ‘Happyland’ which always refers to Disneyland is also the name of the slum area in Manila where the artist was born. In HK Disneyland for example, a large number of the Philippines actors/dancers are employed for the format performance repeatedly put on in the theme park, mostly excluded from the main roles from these Disney characters, which is obviously reserved for certain racial profiles.

Parody, mimicry and reproduction is used on two bodies, in the end of the performance, they lift their dresses and revealed their bodies: now it’s clearer, it’s clearer that this is not Snow White, this is not white. 

An interesting side story is, in 2018, this piece was performed at RAM Shanghai, after the artist talk, in Q&A session, a Chinese audience came across a question: the role itself is a white character, it be strange if the actor who plays it is from another race, in a way as it be strange if a white actress plays Mulan. Is your work over-interpret this matter? The moderator didn’t even translate to the artist but directly asked back, ‘then, does a white performer get paid more than a Philippines performer?’

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