- Sophia So Yoon Lee
This project, asking others to cut my hair, started few years ago when I started living and working in Korea, which was my first time in a long time. The adjustment period lasted longer than I had hoped. The experience during this time got me thinking about how the people around us influence and shape us. Sometimes even without us realizing or wishing for it.
The progression towards using my own hair as a medium was a natural and obvious choice for me. It was interesting to think about the different rules and attitudes people have towards their hair. Although hair is so much like clothes, one changes its shape and colour to fit their taste and the trend. Body and hair is something you shouldn’t damage as it has been received from your parents, was the opinion in former times. And even now lots of people treat their hair very preciously for different reasons. Although hair has been a ‘self-regenerating canvas’ for me to play with for a long time, allowing others to cut my hair, that transference of control wasn’t something I was comfortable with. But this uneasy feeling I get is also what I am interested in.
In some ways, this project was a collaboration between me and everyone involved in my video. At the beginning of the project, the identity of the person cutting my hair was important to me. I have started with close family members, and as the project went on, it became more and more important not to be acquainted with the person. And towards the end of the project, it was important that people cutting my hair don’t know each other. I wanted to capture different ambiance and the dynamics created by different individuals juxtaposing themselves with each other and me. It was crucial, once I ask them to cut my hair, that they are the ones who have the power and freedom on how and how often they finish the haircut.