Of Labyrinths & Shields by Melissa Tan

In Greek mythology, the Labyrinth was an elaborate structure built by the legendary artificer Daedalus. Its function was to hold the Minotaur, a monster with the head of a bull and the body of a man. The Labyrinth was so complex in design that Daedalus himself had trouble escaping it upon completion. Today, labyrinths are generally associated with mazes- a puzzle with choices of path and direction. Between the very slight di!erences in the maze and labyrinth, a labyrinth in fact possesses only a single path to its centre.

Melissa Tan’s debut solo exhibition at Haridas Contemporary features 15 new works, continuing her exploration of goddesses and their chapters in mythology. Each work posits a scene unfolding around an earth- bound goddess. Featuring 7 wall-bound works and 8 free-standing sculptures, each intricate piece portrays a goddess shielding herself with a resilience in overcoming and accepting insurmountable circumstances.

Re-interpreting the works alongside Melissa’s installations, writer Euginia Tan provides eight inspired poems encapsulating the shields and triumphs against the labyrinthine nature of past and present obstacles. An immersive blend of art and text, Of Labyrinths & Shields pays tribute to a feminist, mythical landscape of higher beings fixated and burdened by earthly desires.