Hair Highway for Studio Swine
A contemporary take on the ancient Silk Road
Hair Highway is a contemporary take on the ancient Silk Road. As the world’s population continues to increase, human hair has been re-imagined as an abundant and renewable material, with China being the biggest exporter of human hair.
Studio Swine explores how the booming production of hair extensions can be expanded beyond the beauty industry to make desirable products. By combining hair with a natural resin, Studio Swine has created a composite material that provides a sustainable alternative to the planet’s diminishing natural resources with an aesthetic that evokes the palettes of tortoiseshell and a grain resembling that of polished horn or exotic hardwoods. The result is a unique collection of exquisite objects inspired by the 1930’s Shanghai-deco style.
The film documents the hair trade and industry in the Shandong province of China. Following the journey of the material from the people who sell their hair through to the hair merchants, markets and factories. To finally end up in a collection of highly decorative objects created by Studio Swine.
Filmed on location in Shandong province, China
Hair Highway on National Geographic