The spectacle of black hair has intrigued artists for generations. Interweave – The Hair Project Series sets the stage for dynamic and spontaneous interaction where anyone can examine a subject’s hair, then sit down and become the object of inspection. Publicly displayed hair is at once both public and private. It is publicly displayed for all to see, but the very intimate caress of hair is usually reserved for close friends and relatives. This cultural truism is exploited here; not to critique it’s relevance, but to offer a chance to adjust our perceptions.
The very simple action of sitting in a public area with the open invitation to “Touch My Hair” (written in Chinese while in China) suddenly creates a dynamic interchange. This action is intimate and sensual; threatening and inauspicious. On one level, just touching a stranger’s hair can be an intimidating gesture. On an even deeper level, persons who decide to become the object of investigation themselves (persons who decide to sit in the chair) feel even more vulnerable.
Through our hair, this project connects our lives and stories. It shifts our literal and physical perspectives, while affirming our similarities and linking us together.
Interweave-The Hair Project New York: The first installation of this piece was performed on May 26th 2007 in New York City, USA.
Interweave-The Hair Project China: The second installation was performed on June 6th 2009 in Zhengzhou City, China. It was then performed in Pai, Thailand; and Shanghai, Suzhou, China. In the Shanghai and Suzhou versions, the sign was adjusted to say “Men Only” in preparation of the following project Man-After Female.
Touch My Hair: 1. Create a Unique Style and 2. Keepsake
The 4th and 5th installations were a two part series performed in Shengda College of Zhengzhou University, on June 3rd and 17th, 2010. On the first day the audience was invited to create sculptures with my hair as their raw material. Two weeks later the audience was asked to create a small piece of sculpture to be attached to my hair and kept there as a keepsake for at least a year.
The 6th installations were the prep work for Man-After Female in Shanghai and Suzhou.
The 7th installation Man-After Female was performed on Feb 19th as a part of a group show in Shanghai. The video of the “Men Only” footage shot in Shanghai and Suzhou was projected, and the men at the live performance were invited to measure out pieces of string against my body then use the string to lengthen my hair.