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Hair from You

My father’s passed away six years ago. It’s still painful for me to look back. I felt guilty for never draw a portrait for him when he was alive. I always know that’s something he would want, I was planning to do it on his birthday that year, if only he would live for three more month. After his death, I tried to draw out his face but the pain in my chest always stopped me. I was never able to finish one, and I ended up throwing out everything. 

Then I came up with this project when I was a freshmen: instead of pencil, I wanted to stitch out his figure so I could focus more on the unfamiliar techniques then my sorrow. And I decided to use my own hair as the thread. I have been continuing on this project over years (I’m junior now). I have continued to do this project as I dye my hair into different colors. As a way to show the change to time. 

As a part of my body, my hair contains half of his DNA. This work was done with his help even in the situation that he might never know. Just like how hard it is for me to remember him, to reconnect with him. I’m so frustrated but there is no way that I can give it up. 

Upon my father’s death, I started to use parts of my body as materials. It was painful for me to look at the details of his face when I was trying to draw him a portrait since I was  never able to do so when he was alive. I needed a way to help me to focus on the techniques instead of being submerged by my emotions. I'm using my hair to stitch my family members who have passed away and our shared memories. I call this work Hair from you. My hair contains part of their DNA, so they have helped me to create the pieces even without their knowledge. As I work on these pieces, I’m constantly worn out and frustrated but there is no way that I can give up.All the trouble I came across is so similar to how hard it is for me to reconnect with them while carrying the guilt inside. The finished pieces have different colors since I dyed my hair at different times, as a way to show time. This piece will be a life-long project, just like the lost ones will always be a part of my heart. 

My project, Hair from You, is a project in which I use my hair to stitch out the image of my passed families. I believe this can become a way to help others go through their own grief and sadness for a lost one. I believe today's society has treated death in the wrong way. Our culture tells us to avoid death-related topics in daily life. We don't teach about death in school the way that other milestones in life are taught, like sex or birth. People run away from this topic as if that's the way to  avoid death, but this only leads to panic after the death of a close one. My piece aims to help people to face death, to give them an admonition before the real problem, to work with their emotions that no one talks about. I hope my art can become a way to help others go through their sorrow and despair for a lost one. One of the plans for my master’s project is that with some form of promotion, people can come to me and my work; for those who can not handle death, they can come to me so I can share the process with them so they can be console.

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