2018 (Ongoing)

As the title suggests, this ongoing series is a visual exploration of hair as the main element. The story and inspiration behind it are deeply personal. Growing up, I was always conscious and sometimes bitter about my big, curly hair. In the Philippines, as with many Asian countries, long, straight hair is a symbol of beauty and femininity.  Being a curly-haired girl in a society that worshipped pin-straight hair made me different to the point of ridicule. I hated myself because of it.

For many years, I kept a big bunch of my hair. It was cut in one big snip when I first had my curly hair straightened. “Here, keep it as a souvenir,” the hairdresser said nonchalantly, as if my hair would never grow back curly ever again. I can’t remember exactly why, but I kept it wrapped in a plastic bag for years. When I finally threw it out, it made me realize that my curly hair was something that I couldn’t take away from my identity.

Eventually, I put together Hair as a story of acceptance, and of my hair as part of my identity. Recently, however, I thought about expanding this series into a repository of creative narratives about hair, driven by curiosity on how individuals and societies perceive it as part of human identity and self-expression.

Using Format