Monday, October 26, 2009

Human Hair Mini Building

As Halloween approaches, our thoughts turn to scary and hairy things. Werewolves, Wolverine, Sasquatch, Cousin It, Wookies – you know the type. In the past, I’ve written about other people who patiently create miniature buildings from a variety of materials: Wooden cities, Sugar skylines, Chocolate carvings, Jell-O buildings and Sand sculptures. But now I’ve seen everything. A Beijing hairdresser wanted to create something unique to celebrate the 60th anniversary of Communist China's founding. So naturally, he built a replica of the buildings and monuments around Tiananmen Square made entirely of human hair. Huang Xin has completed the Monument to the People's Heroes and is putting the finishing touches to the Gate of Heavenly Peace or Tiananmen, complete with a miniature portrait of former Chairman Mao (the only portion not made of hair.) About 11 kg of hair and 500 yuan ($71) worth of hair dye and other supplies were used to build the Gate of Heavenly Peace replica, which is about a meter long. It took Huang days to draw a simple blueprint and five months to gather enough hair to create the landmark. Instead of throwing away customers' hair after a cut, Huang Xin sweeps it up, washes and dyes the clumps and converts them into a substitute for bricks, wood or any other material needed for his hairy artwork. "Some customers are supportive, some are not. Some just don't believe it's possible to make models of such huge architecture using such a delicate material as human hair," Huang told Reuters. Huang has also made replicas of the Bird's Nest Olympic Stadium, the Olympic torch and ancient Chinese artifacts. It generally takes months to scrape together enough hair for one large replica, which requires dozens of tubes of dye to change the dried hair to the desired color. Eventually, he would like to bring his job and his hobby together - creating images of his customers using their own hair, which he believes would last longer than photographs. "I am planning to do portraits of customers using their own hair. From a haircut I would get both short and long hair. So technically, I would be able to make flat works, that would, for example, resemble photographs," he said. Have you seen other miniature building hand made of unusual materials?

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