People’s Salon

People’s Salon, 2018

Installation in collaboration with Andrew Lee for What Are Our Supports? (Richmond Art Gallery). Hosted by OR Gallery.

Cathedral Park, Vancouver, B.C.

A haircut is a common life ritual. Everyone, for the most part, has hair – it grows, and needs occasional care. Beyond necessity, haircuts frame how we’d like to convey ourselves to the world: an aesthetic decision we adorn everyday. They differentiate us, yet are also an equalizer; a constant. The relationship with those who cut our hair requires trust. Can we take this risk with a stranger? Can a haircut, beyond simple service, be a therapeutics for the people – an exchange that leaves us transformed?

For the final project, Khan Lee and Andrew Lee will host Francis Cruz as artist-in-residence of Boothy, where he will give complimentary haircuts to the community, making a stratified service accessible to all. Cruz, an artist and professionally-trained stylist, works at Field Trip Hair Co. in Mount Pleasant. For each encounter, he will discuss personal desires to customize the haircut as a means of self-care and personal transformation. In the spirit of the history of salon culture, the age of conversation and the public sphere, we invite you to take a chance, see what emerges, or ask someone outside your everyday circles to try something new.

On the closing night of What Are Our Supports, Khan Lee, Andrew Lee and Francis Cruz performed a light-and-sound composition within the parameters of the booth, an absurdist commentary on limitations on space and imaginative potential.

Words by Joni Low