Nguyen Thi Thanh Mai


Disentangled #1


9 photographs printed on aluminum

40 x 26.5 cm each

In Disentangled #1, Nguyen Thi Thanh Mai treats her hair as a temporal subject. When hair is attached to the body, it is a living witness and an heirloom of memory; and when it is not, hair becomes an amputation, or sometimes a reminder of the body. By using hair in different forms: strands, segments, powder-like, etc. the artist suggests a constant query of how memories and identity are possessed, released, and transformed throughout one’s lifetime. As Mai once contemplated, “For me, hair is not only an object of aesthetics, but also a signifier of identity. It is intimate and private; it consists of time and memory. The process of cutting hair into small pieces resembles a ritual or meditation. I wonder if this process will allow me to erase the haunting of memory?