2024 ShowOff! Artwork Lori Lai

Labour of Love

This piece addresses the comforts of family in a wood sculpture artwork. “Labour of Love” describes the act of familial giving, represented by the centre apple– now a core– giving away themselves to their child. The surrounding plates bleed into each other in a cycle of life, from diced fruit in a children’s bowl to apple rabbits on a plate.

Most children of Asian parents will recognize the cut fruit, often given in times of struggle such as a hard time studying. For me, this fruit was given by my late grandfather as well, who cut apple slices for me, paper-thin– a fond memory that was my source of comfort at his funeral. When he passed, I sought to memorialise his love for me as well as that of my parents’ in this art piece.

I hand-carved each apple out of wood, a ritual that reflected the labour-intensive giving that my family did for me. Both the process and product are a form of art through which I better appreciated my family’s sacrifices.