We all love our hair, but making art pieces out of hair is just another level of love for hair and art. An Indian artist is creating incredibly detailed portraits and remarkable artworks using human hair. Midhun R. R. is an architect, and he uses thousands of short hair strands to create incredible artworks on A4 white paper canvas. The 26-year-old artist is from Thamburu, Nellimoodu in the southern Indian state of Kerala. He works as an assistant professor at McGan’s Ooty School of Architecture in Udhagamandalam in Kerala. Midhun has innovated a strange technique wherein he uses some sprays and needles to give shapes to the hair strands.

Midhun R. R. started experimenting with human hair a few years ago, but he began taking interest in art forms like paintings and sketching when he was only 7. He was in class 10 when he won a rocket model-making competition organized by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), and that was the moment when he began taking his work and passion towards art seriously and started devoting his maximum time to art. It takes him only three hours to finish one artwork that requires extreme precision and patience. And he had always wished to try something out of mainstream art forms.

As we all have seen artists using pencil-shavings, leaves, and other stuff for their art, Midhun always wanted to come up with something very unique. When he was doing an internship with an organization called Sacred Groves in Puducherry, he undertook a project of constructing mud walls that required a substance from natural fiber as one of the building materials. So, he chose human hair collected from the local salons. When Midhun completed his project, there was a lot of leftover hair, so his friends suggested that he should create something out of those hairs. And ultimately, he came up with the idea of using hair strands in his art.

Initially, Midhun explored the internet to get some references, but he failed to find anything relatable and decided to try it by himself. He has spent hours cutting and arranging thin hair strands in distinct shapes and designs in his room which he has now turned into a small studio. Now Midhun has created numerous artworks with his patience, skills, and hard work. 

In an interview with The Hindu, he said that one of his most difficult and challenging artworks is The Last Supper that he made at his house. Midhun used his own hair and it took him 8 hours to complete it because getting the details of each face was quite challenging. Midhun also said, “I am still experimenting with this medium. It is not an easy job. One has to be very patient and careful while arranging the hair and turn them into artwork”. However, he is glad and gratified that he has chosen this art form and constantly doing innovations in it.

While working with different hair types, Midhun also started developing rashes from handling the hair. He researched about the solutions, and then stuck to the hair of a single person for a project, and avoided getting a mix from the salons. Midhun’s friends also donated hair to him. He similarly started sun-drying the hair after using formaldehyde solution on them. After cleaning the hair, he also glues them to the paper and uses a needle or a brush from a selected distance. Then he cuts the hair strands at various lengths, depending on the image, and then assembles them one by one using the needles, but this method needs a lot of patience and time.

It takes around 3 days for the preparation time of a portrait. And once he is satisfied with the outcome, the artwork is inserted between 2 glass panes for long-term preservation. So far, Midhun has created many artworks including the portraits of Mahatma Gandhi and Marilyn Monroe from hair. With his brilliant art form and other skills in art, Midhun has achieved many records as well. He has won the World Assist Record for making Veena with rice grains in 704 hours, and even the India Books of Records awarded him for the same. Midhun has also won the Assist World Record for creating the highest number of portraits using human hair.

Midhun gets requests from many people to create distinct portraits, and he even gets requests to do commissioned artworks as well. Other than his amazing hair artworks he is also interested in working with stuff like oil paint, acrylic colors, paper cutting, sculpting, and carving. Yet his most favorite art form is making art pieces from hair. Midhun has also worked on some of the significant monuments across southern India. It was his dream to create such amazing artforms, and now he is extremely happy with the outcome that has come out certainly astonishing for many people.


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