Hui Chi Lee

People are by nature social beings. People need other people to survive, and as such they tend to perpetually seek social interactions. However, human relationships are inherently complex and multi-faceted. The ideology of Hui Chi Lee’s series, Lián 連 and Liàn 鏈 begins with a pair of Chinese homophones “Lián 連 and Liàn 鏈” that, depending on the context, mean either “to connect” or “to enchain.”


Hui Chi Lee: (chuckle) This will be fun.


Haircut 101: How’s it going?

(background chatter)

HCL: (laughs) Thank you so much. Thank you.

Haircut 101: Of course!

HCL: Okay!

HCL: Let’s start something. Collect the hair first. And I don’t know how to use it. I have no idea. So, I just blindly collect those short hairs. And then after I collect it, I clean it. I clean, clean. And students, you know, when I expose all those short hairs outside to get it dry, students would say “Wahhhh - that smells so bad! Horrible!” But then I thought, well bear with it, this is the only space I can dry it.

HCL: When I clean it, all the process allows me to see, actually this is a lot of life. It’s life from everybody. Right? It has DNA in the hair and symbolizes many, many different individuals, but I don’t know who they are.

HCL: How can human beings all collectively bound together just like every pile of hair. They are very strong. Once they collectively become a sculpture, then I want to open it.

HCL: You have to spend a little bit of time to really break it. Then that strong bond with each other, that makes it. - I said “yes!” You find the meaning, then you’re able to develop the art, the artifact to suit for that.

(Title: “Hui Chi Lee”)

HCL: In this step, you roll it until those hairs really solidly tie into the string. I start thinking about ‘how about let’s braid the hair?’. And the braiding the hair also is a meditative process.

HCL: When you are braiding it, you’re thinking about ‘how am I going to utilize it?.’ ‘What does it symbolize?’ And it’s the long history of our human history, right? Then, even the long braid and the short, they all carry very similar meaning - but in a very different way.

(music begins)

HCL: I think through the material I apply, I hope the viewer is able to really understand the underlying meaning of it. Even without me explaining to them.

HCL: So That’s, you know, a piece over here, a piece over there. Over development, I think this group from the beginning to come to this point – about three years.

HCL: There’s no space to really put them together and I appreciate you guys giving me this great opportunity and have that space to allow me to put them together as a whole. And so, everything fit into each other perfectly.

(Music and Closing Credits)

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