Picture human hair cascading from a suspended funeral wreath. It might not strike you as art, but hair is the unexpected medium that 25-year old artist Zoey Wong uses to create her works. She used hair which she had been collecting for more than 10 years to create a collection called “Goodbye”. The odd project took her about four months of painstaking sewing, but her efforts came to fruition last year when the haunting art won her the Young Talent People’s Choice Award at the Affordable Art Fair, Singapore.
Take a closer look at her work and you’ll see intricate embroidery that you never thought was possible using human hair. Well, Zoey didn’t either, at first. But using hair was the only way she knew she could aptly represent the human desire for self-preservation. To her, hair represents a multitude of things: “It doesn’t decay as quickly as the rest of the body, and it’s a very personal part of our self-image.” For Zoey, interaction between the audience and her art is crucial.
The effect of her art is often dependent on the space around it: “My favourite exhibition was the one I had at Pasir Panjang power station. The defunct power station had no electricity at all, and this added a new dimension to my hair-embroidered hoops when the sun started to set. I think the most important part of this experience was the interaction that people had with the art as they had to go up close to touch and feel the embroidered pieces.”
She credits the people around her giving her support: “I have been very lucky so far to have many supportive and encouraging mentors and friends to guide and advise me, as I am pretty new to the art scene.”
The secret of her creativity? Dreaming. Inspired by Salvador Dali’s surrealist works, Zoey constantly draws creativity from her own dreams. “A lot of the work I do is heavily inspired by the dreams I have, much like an insight to a parallel universe.”
This was first published in the May issue of our magazine.