Offbeat Video

By Bilal Kuchay


An Indian artist is creating stunningly-detailed portraits and impressive artworks using human hair.

Midhun R.R. manipulates thousands of short hair strands -mostly gifted by his friends, to create incredible artworks on A4 size white paper canvas.

The 23-year-old artist from Thamburu, Nellimoodu in the southern Indian state of Kerala, has innovated a unique technique where in he uses formaldehyde sprays and needles to give shapes to the hair strands.

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Midhun takes only three hours to finish one artwork that requires extreme precision and patience.

He says: “I spray formaldehyde on the hair strands that are donated by my friends and then dry them for 20 to 30 minutes.

“Then I cut the hair strands at various lengths, depending on the image and then arrange them one by one using needles.

“It requires a lot of patience and time.”

Once he is satisfied with the result, the artwork is sandwiched between two glass panes for long-term preservation.

An architecture student, Midhun started experimenting with human hair just seven months ago.

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He would spend hours cutting and arranging thin hair strands in various shapes and designs in his room which he has now turned into a small studio.

Midhun says: “I’m still experimenting with this medium. It is not an easy job.

“One has to be very patient and careful while arranging the hair and turn them into artwork.

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“I started making paintings and sketches when I was only 7.

“I was in class 10 when I won a rocket model making competition conducted by Indian Space Research Organisation. That was the moment when I started taking my work seriously and started devoting my maximum time to art.

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“But I had always wanted to try something different. We all have seen artists using leaves and pencil shavings. I wanted to come up with something really exciting. And then I came up with the idea of using hair strands.”

Midhun has so far created ten hair art pieces including The Last Supper and portraits of Marilyn Monroe and Mahatma Gandhi, the icon of the Indian independence movement.

A time-lapse video shows Midhun very delicately creating a portrait of Mahatma Gandhi, from thousands of small hair strands.

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He said: “It was my dream to create Gandhi Ji’s portrait. It took me nearly three hours to create that portrait. I am extremely happy with the result. It has come out really well.”