IMHATHAI SUWATTHANSILP has developed a signature mode of production using human hair—often her own—which she weaves, crochets, embroiders or laces into quiet, intimate two and three-dimensional works that reflect on the nature of familial ties, domestic life, the female body and feminine identity. It was after receiving her master’s degree from the Faculty of Painting, Sculpture and Graphic Arts at Silpakorn University that she discovered hair as a material with which to interweave contemporary art and human life. In culture, hair plays an underrated symbolic role—for example it is connected with rituals, personal identity, gender status as well as state of mind.
On her residency in Bali, she was inspired by various form of found objects, such as Kendi pottery, shape of leaves, ceremony equipments (dulang: tray for placing offerings) and also temple. It is to respond to Murni and the position of woman, how in Bali the female don’t have their own temples (family shrine in this case) in the end as they would get married to another person’s temple. Im wanted to make a temple dedicated for woman – a Murni’s temple.
Born 1981, Chaiyaphum, Thailand
Lives and works in Thailand
110 x 80 cm, Mix media on canvas (human hair, acrylic, graphite)
2 & 3. Kendi Pottery, 2016
60 cm x 60 cm, Mix media on canvas (human hair, acrylic, graphite)
Imhathai sees human hair as a material that interweaves contemporary art and human daily life. With a bundle of Murni’s hair was found at her house in BTN Lokaserana, in her residency with Ketemu Project Space, Imhathai chose to create artworks with it, as if it is an indirect collaboration.
What’s felt by Imhathai are “hope, pain and believe” in creating these artworks, with its shapes were inspired by the shapes of Murni’s artworks and kendi (water vessel) usually used for holy water.