Wang Xiaojiu, a 31-year-old barber from Jilin city, China, doesn’t simply sweep shorn hair off the floor of his hair salon and dump it in the trash. At least not before painstakingly arranging it to create highly detailed works of art.
Seen from a far, Wang’s masterpieces look drawn with a pencil or charcoal, but a closer inspection reveals that they are made out of carefully arranged clipped hair. The talented barber told China Daily that he always thought throwing away leftover hair seemed like a pity, so one day he decided to do something creative with it instead. Armed with a hair brush and a plastic card, he started the piles of sheared hair on the floor of his salon into intricate portraits of popular cartoon and comic characters and, mythological heroes, and more.
Although he only started drawing with human hair a few months ago, looking at his beautiful creations, you’d be inclined to think he has been doing it for a lifetime. Paying great attention to details, like shades that almost make the artworks look 3D, Wang Xiaojiu has so far created amazing-looking portraits of Sailor Moon, Spiderman, X-men’s Wolverine, Bruce Lee and Iron Man, among others.
Wang says it takes him about two hours to complete one of his hair drawings, after which he always signs them with his nickname “Xiao Jiu” and snaps a few photos. Finally, he sweeps the hair away to keep the salon clean, but he admits that ruining his own work is not easy. “When sweeping it away, I do feel hurt,” he says.
Wang Xiaojiu may be new at hair art, but he definitely has a bright artistic future ahead of him. He walks in the footsteps of giants like Bill Fink, an incredible artist who creates hair drawings that look like black and white photographs. He may not be at that level yet, but Wang’s talent is undeniable.
As unusual an art medium as hair may seem, there are plenty of artists who use it. Here are just a few that we’ve featured on OC in the past: Zhang Dexuan – the world’s only hair woven portrait maker, Mateo Blanco – who makes celebrity portraits out of dog hair, Kerry Howley – a designer who makes necklaces from human hair, or Li Hailing – another Chinese barber who uses leftover hair to create detailed portraits.