Interweave-The Hair Series

Interweave-The Hair Project New York
Interweave-The Hair Project New York
Interweave-The Hair Project Zhengzhou
Interweave-The Hair Project Zhengzhou
Interweave-The Hair Project Pai, Thailand
Interweave-The Hair Project Pai, Thailand
Touch My Hair (Sculpture) Zhengzhou
Touch My Hair (Keepsake) Zhengzhou
Touch My Hair-Men Only Shanghai & Suzhou
Man-After Female Shanghai

 

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.

Performance Art

Is My Foot Bigger Than Yours?
Interweave: Touch My Hair
Mad Woman Jamin'
Interweave: Touch My Hair
Ten Scenic Spots of West Lake: TV Interview
Ten Scenic Spots of West Lake
Beauty Score
Color Gift
Stripped / Strapped

Identity politics is at the center of my recent explorations. The barriers we create to define ourselves and our communities can be a point of contention, but my work strives to create a space for cross fertilization, where two or more cultures collide with thrilling results.

My work in China centers around the theme of beauty and the black body.

Is My Foot Bigger than Yours? This work was staged at the China Academy of Art Xiangshan Campus on April 26th, 2012. The aim was to create a space where people could feel comfortable to explore difference, much like the Interweave-Touch My Hair Series.

Money Tree was performed on the winter solstice, 2011, the darkest day of the year at West Lake Hangzhou, China. The location was West Lake, Hangzhou, and participants were asked to donate strands of their hair to be woven into money as a part of a money tree revival ritual.

Beauty Score, took place in July 2011, at the Zhejiang Art Museum in Hangzhou, China. It is a work created to address opposing concepts of beauty. In Chinese culture from ancient times until today, beauty has been equivalent to white clear skin. In an attempt to further grasp how black skin on a woman is perceived, Beauty Score was created.

Mad Woman Jammin’ was performed on October 22nd, 2011 at the 12 Annual Open Arts Festival Shanghai, China. It starts out as a colorful, playful exploration of the culture of dance and revelry at the core of Caribbean and African culture but the audience experiences a sudden and dramatic turn in mood and emphasis.

The Ten Scenic Spots of West Lake was performed at West Lake during the summer of 2011, Hangzhou China. This famous beautiful lake has long history, and the city of Hangzhou is often lauded as one of the most beautiful cities in China. In the summer of 2011, the West Lake was listed as a World Heritage site. Cai Qing and I visited the 10 famous spots on the lake and worked as artist and model to create this art event. Our aim was to challenge traditional Eastern concepts of beauty. For each of the 10 sites, I wore a new outfit and assessories, and Cai Qing used different media to portray the scene. Cai Qing is the first PHD graduate of the China Academy of Art with a doctorate in Performance Art Studies. He wore his cap and gown to signal his “authority” on what is beautiful. During the later sessions, I asked the audience to give me a beauty score as part of the Beauty Score series.

On the final day, after the artwork for the 10th spot was completed, cai Qing and I joined Shan Zeng our curator on a Hangzhou TV special.

Threads – The Wearable Art Fashion Show, was a collaboration with Juliana Cope at the Jersey City Museum in New Jersey, USA. The show opened with the festive piece Body Bootie, where Juliana and I used movement and materials to celebrate life, and the uninhibited joy of youth. I performed on stage in a colorful plastic crocheted costume while 8 months pregnant. As the opening piece this performance was perfectly contrasted with the closing piece, Undercovers: A Bespoke Burial Blanket which addressed the way some cultures prepare their dead for burial.

The Republic II: Huaxi Village was performed on November 19th, 2011 at the China Academy of Art, Hangzhou, China.

Color Gift was performed on October 22nd 2011 at the Shanghai 800 Art District Building, Shanghai, China.

The Ten Scenic Spots of West Lake was performed 6 days July 2011 on West Lake, Hangzhou, China. The TV interview for the show “Forum by Qiantang River 2011.08.13” of the artists Glenis Paul and Cai Qing and Curator was filmed on the final day.

Threads – The Wearable Art Fashion Show took place on February 24th, 2008 at the Jersey City Museum, New Jersey, USA

Stripped/Strapped was performed in July 2004, New York, USA.

Gallery

To see new work, please click on the sitemap in the sidebar, or click the “Artwork” tab.

The gallery consists mainly of images from my portfolio. These selected works were created, staged, performed and curated from 2002 through 2011. For works done after 2011, click on the Artwork tab, or use the sitemap in the sidebar.

The works are presented by category and are from a wide range of disciplines. The older work reflects my interest in the female body politic as an immigrant to the US from the Caribbean island of Barbados. Since then my aims have shifted to include projects which explore the ephemeral links connecting peoples and communities. Such projects include: Interweave – The Hair Project Series, SH, ZZ, NY; the Adventures in the Arts Series, NY and The Ten Scenic Spots of West Lake, HZ performance. These explorations all aim at bridging cultures and deconstructing stereotypes.


GALLERY  BY  TOPIC
This slideshow and list act as a map for the website, as it also shows how the works are presented online. Please click on the list below or the images above  to see more of that genre. Click the Artwork tab for the latest new work added.

 

 

Performance Art

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Research

Stories

 

 

GALLERY  BY  MEDIA

Pictures

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Love Bug

Hope you can watch this fun animation that Alemayehu found on Tudou.com. I also have some videos posted there.

Love Bug

http://www.tudou.com/programs/view/e81G6Dx-PzY/

Tudou is the Chinese YouTube. Don’t let the Chinese characters scare you off. We just watched Toy Story 4. Try a search for the movie or T.V. series you prefer and you just might get lucky. Anyway this animation that Mayehu found is short and funny, and loads quickly. A young researcher in the making!