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Wenda Gu’s “united nations: united colours” made from 7 or so miles of hair…

…artist Wenda Gu’s latest installation provokes aren’t because of its size, but its contents: 420 pounds of human hair. A viewer’s first impulses are to lean forward and scrutinize the swirling, flattened locks; stealthily sniff (it doesn’t smell); and fight the urge to touch it — and perhaps quickly recoil.

Hair for the 80-foot-by-13-foot banner was collected over several months last year from 42,000 haircuts of Dartmouth students, faculty, staff and local residents in Hanover. It was shipped to China, where workers in Gu’s Shanghai studio dyed and shaped the locks into paper-thin panels held together by a film of Elmer’s glue and tied together with twine. It and a second work, ”united nations: united colors,” displayed in another part of the library are the latest installations in Gu’s worldwide ”united nations” project, begun in 1993 and all made from human hair.

Hair Art Show Fascinates, Disgusts – Link.



  • Chiengora Chic – Handspinning Dog Hair – Link.
  • Panda painted onto single hair – Link.
  • Micro-paintings on human hair – Link.

Phillip Torrone

Editor at large – Make magazine. Creative director – Adafruit Industries, contributing editor – Popular Science. Previously: Founded – Hack-a-Day, how-to editor – Engadget, Director of product development – Fallon Worldwide, Technology Director – Braincraft.

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