Buy a hair

Mixed media

The behavior of consumption stimulated by consumerism is constructing new rules - when the purpose of consumption no longer exists and consumption itself becomes an unconscious action. Here's what I did :

1. Count, I have 56,808 hairs on my head.
2. Put them on an e-commerce platform, no di fferent from any other item, and start selling them.
3. As with any other act of consumption, invite every consumer to come to my shop and buy a hair

Before the official sale, I conducted an experiment with my own online shop on the Taobao platform. I put up 100 hairs with a price tag of RMB 0.1 and these were sold out and taken off the shelves within 53 minutes. Therefore, I decided that the event could be completed.

Then I hired three people to count the hair on my head for me and it took us 47 hours to count the total number of hairs on my head at 56,808.

I had my hair condition and physical condition checked at a scalp testing centre and a medical examination centre and printed out a report for the consumer's reassurance. I then wrote the details for this product, which included packaging details, appearance display, product information, error warning, product features, quality assurance, service promise, product story, hair function, designer introduction, brand introduction, and the reason for selling the hair, and packaged the product details similar to other products sold online by referring to the product interface of the popular products on E-commerce platforms.

As an artist, I am aware that a lot of my opportunities in the art world have come from the act of "I put my work on an e-commerce platform", and even I participated in the Venice Biennale2022, but thinking about it rationally: this does not mean that my work really has academic value, but that the "consumer phenomenon It's the "consumption phenomenon" that has taken me along with it. Merchants are creating more consumer carnivals, while the consumer behaviour stimulated by consumerism is constructing new rules, and people's consumer concerns are getting narrower and narrower in the consumerist bubble. But I would like consumers to look at themselves to see if and when consumption has become an "outlet" of sorts. In a more serious sense, why has consumption become an obligation?

So with this work, I intend to keep probing the boundaries of consumption, to explore where the meaning of consumption for the masses can end up, even if it is just a hair in the shop, given the consumption inertia.

What motivates consumers is not only the direct and added value of the goods, but also the degree to which their wallets are open at that moment and, above all, the amount of desire they have to spend. But when the purpose of consumption no longer exists, the consumption itself becomes an unconscious action and the sales figures start to stack up.

As the project proceeds, everything is unsettled; the only thing set is that a penny can buy a hair of the artist's head. At any moment in the future, the buyer or others can access the link to the item to see their own or others' journey (buyer's comments), which becomes an exhibition that remains in a link forever. What is contained here is not only the opinion of the artist, but also the opinion of the public (the audience) which cannot be tampered with and which enjoys absolute freedom.

As of now (28 January 2024), I have sold 48,380 hairs and have 8,428 hairs left to sell. While the project was running, I participated in the school's entrepreneurship competition and took home the top prize and 5,000 RMB. All my income related to the project will be donated to the charity at the end of the project. The meaning of this work needs to be shared with the audience.

When shipping, I vacuum pack each hair and hand print incremental numbers on the packaging, any unsold hair will remain on my head and continue to grow.

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