Hair as art
A hair stylist in Northeast China has found a novel way of using all that clipped hair— by making art of it.
A hair stylist in northeastern China has found a novel way of using all that hair— by making art.
Wang Xiaojiu started working as a barber 16 years ago, but he didn’t hit upon his idea until late last year when he decided to write out 2015 and his nickname, “Xiaojiu” (Little Nine), with hair from the floor of his shop.
Photographs of the artwork he uploaded to WeChat, the social media app, received such a warm response from his friends that he made another picture of amonkey to mark the Chinese Lunar New Year.
“From then on, I fell in love with the art,” Wang said at Xiaohe Barbershop in Jilin, in Jilin province. To demonstrate his point, he used a small card and a brush to form the Chinese characters for China Daily on the floor.
Using only hair, he has created portraits of kung fu star Bruce Lee as well as fictional characters such as Iron Man, the Monkey King, Sakuragi Hanamichi and SailorMoon.
“It takes me two to three hours to finish a portrait,” he said. “The most difficult part is the delicate lines, which can only be done with a small brush. “You have to keep all the doors and windows closed to prevent a breeze from disturbing the hair.”
Many admirers of his work are surprised to findWang has no formal art training.
“I never learned how to paint, and I only used to like art when I was a boy,” he said. “My interest in making pictures out of hair started recently. I’ve only completed about seven pictures.”
Other than the photographs he uploads, Wang keeps no record of his work. He destroys all his designs.
“Some friends have suggested that I should glue the hair down, but I just like them on the ground. I like my job, and making things out of hair makes me like my job even more,” he said.
“Every time before I destroy a picture, I get a little bit sad. But at the moment of destruction, I begin to enjoy it.”
Wang, who one colleague said is considered the best worker at Xiaohe Barbershop, said he will continue to create artwork out of hair, but only as a hobby -- his real passion is for cutting it.
Barber Wang Xiaojiu with some of his portraits, which he makes using his customers’ hair, at Xiaohe Barbershop in the city of Jilin in Jilin province, Northeast China.
One of Wang Xiaojiu’s favorite portraits.