In Tools of the Trade and Tools of the Trade V.2, I’ve designed sculpting tools out of acrylic nails to be used to sculpt with. Each sculpture has a specifically designed nail set. I’ve used acrylic nails as an access point to view roles of performance in gender and labor expected of me, a femme Korean-American aka cyborg, living in an imperialist, white supremacist, capitalist, hetero patriarchy* aka Portland, Oregon, USA. I explore contemporary cyborgism, (re)production, citizenship, material histories, and herstorical origins. I integrate and negotiate operations of exploitation and resilience to reclaim authorship and ultimately vibe.
I’ve used acrylic nails as an access point to explore performative roles of labor and gender within the imperialist, white-supremacist, capitalist, hetero** patriarchy* through an integration of a cyborgian tactics of survival.
Tools of the Trade and Tools of the Trade V.2 is a combination of performance, design, and sculpture that explores the intersection of exploitation and resilience in cyborgian identity formation.
In Tools of the Trade, I specifically design nails to sculpt an IUD. An IUD is a prosthetic implanted or installed in the uterus of menstruators. This prosthetic allows menstruators to have further choice in other kinds of (re)production. In the performance, I record myself sculpting with my nails. I negotiate the functions of my body modification, acrylic nails, to sculpt another kind of body modification both related to (re)production.
In Tools of the Trade V.2, I design nails to sculpt an American passport. Further exploring cyborgism, I question nationality and citizenship and illustrate my expansive nature and critical thinking around the Asian refugee and immigrant diaspora.
I backup my thinking with histories and herstorical origins of nail art, cyborgism, materials, gendered labor and gender marketing. I’ve also made this work accessible to anyone, anywhere with the internet and a connected device at mmoonstudios.com/artwork.
*hooks, bell. 1997. “Cultural Critisicm & Transformation.” Edited by Mary Patiemo. **Moon, Mazey. 2021. mmoonstudios.com