sign language media artist art, poetry, calligraphy, storytelling, performance, sign language

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Locks of Love: a performance art

In my slightly mischievous performance art at the Asiatopia International performance art festival, I invited the audience to participate in an interactive "play".

In the opening, I cut a piece of my hair to create a brush. Then I chose a first observer in the audience to cut a small piece of her hair and invited her to dip in ink with my hairbrush and write something on the rice roll paper. The person then taped her piece of hair on the rice paper.

Jolanta Lapiak
Performance art at Asiatopia International Performance Art Festival, November 2008.
Bangkok Art and Cultura Centre, Bangkok, Thailand.

Then I handed the scissors to the person and gestured toward the audience to choose the next person. The person chose another person to cut his/her hair. Then the next person taped his/her piece of hair on the paper, wrote something, and received the scissors for the next hapless person.

During this performance, this process became a bit wilder and wilder. A person sometimes would chase a running friend and cut a big piece of hair. Many of the chosen audience wrote in different languages on the paper. This went on and on till the moment I decided the right time to stop when the last person wrote the last amusing message "stop this war" on the rice paper.

So it was the exciting time, finally, I invited two persons to cut a Japanese woman who had a waist-long braided locks of hair. The audience gasped; some screamed 'no'. Some then realized it was a plan.

The locks of hair are donated to "Locks of Love".

This performance was dedicated to my Japanese friend Asami who donated her hair to the Locks of Love organization. It promotes awareness of cancer and children. Initially, she invited me to cut her hair during my stay in Japan. I found this a honour; instead, I decided to invite her to come to the festival in Thailand to be part of this performance.