Human hair hand stitched on char suit cloth
Hair, as long as it is on a person’s head is ornament, it is beautiful and desirable- but as soon as it falls it is thrown away, disposed off in ways that attempt to ward off black magic, is disgusting and unwanted. I am interested in the questions and emotions that the use of this fallen/dead hair evokes when it is re-appropriated into a work of art, and is once again made desirable, precious and sacred.
It also refers to desires unattained. Desires that may seem quite insignificant now, but that signified at some time the ideals of a desired life. Though other, better dreams and desires have been fulfilled, but the yearning, for what had been impossible at a certain time in the past, still lingers. The fallen disembodied hair echoes such emotions.
One of the very vivid memories of my childhood is my mother’s wish for having ‘beautiful curtains’ in our home. We do have beautiful curtains in our house now, but this simple desire had remained out of our reach through the many years that I was growing up in our village home. This, and other such simple yet impossible desires become the content of my current work.
Rehana Mangi graduated from the National College of Arts, Lahore with a BFA in 2008. She is currently enrolled in the MA ADS program at Beaconhouse National University, Lahore. Mangi has exhibited nationally and internationally.
Photo Credits | Usman Saeed