Hair today, gone tomorrow – laughing statues get a makeover

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Gay Vancouver artist and hair stylist Trevor Sand is about to tackle his biggest clients yet: the group of bronze statues currently on display at Morton Park at the foot of Davie Street at English Bay.

Trevor SandsTitled A-maze-ing Laughter, by Chinese artist Yue Minjun, the group of statues has become one of the most talked about and smile-inducing installations of the Vancouver Biennale, the group which mounts biannual public art exhibitions outdoors.

Living near the statues, Sands says that seeing them on a daily basis as he walks his dog inspired him to come up with the idea to create and display hairpieces on the laughing statues.

“Art inspires art, and being a hairdresser, I have pictured them with hair on many occasions,” he said. “I want to create a fun event where locals, tourists and anyone passing by will be able to stop and see the sculptures transformed.”

Originally conceptualized as a client appreciation event for customers of his Stratosphere hair salon, it has morphed into a live public art installation and will even be filmed as part of a new hair product line campaign.

“I want to see the reaction of people as the alteration with the hairpieces take place,” said Sands.  “The statues are very popular and it will be fun to see how people respond as I transform them.”

Sand will use a variety of materials to create hair effects on each of the statues.  Sewn and woven together, the materials are designed to look organic like real hair and appear to move but attached in such a way that will not harm the statues themselves.

“I was a little surprised at how easy it was to convince the Vancouver Biennale organizers to allow me to undertake this installation,” said Sands.  “They thought it was a great idea and are happy that it will help bring more focus to the public art.”

“Public art comes to life when people bring their own experience and perspective to it”, said Miriam Blume, spokesperson for the Vancouver Biennale. “We are always looking for ways to further engage people in the exhibition and hope to inspire creativity and dialogue.”

Beginning at 10am on Sunday, August 21, Sand says that it will take him two hours to complete his installation on the 14 statues.  Once the hair pieces are complete, Sand will stick around with a group of volunteers to answer any questions passersby might have about the art.

Only around for the single day, the hairpieces will be removed at 6pm and while Sands is still contemplating what will happen to them once the day is over, he has already donated his leftover supplies to local children’s organization, Arts Umbrella.

“I’m really excited about the project,” concluded Sands.  “I’ve never done anything like this before but it has been a really, really fun project and would definitely do it again”.

Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow
Sunday, August 21, 2011 @ 10am – 6pm
Morton Park, foot of Davie Street at Denman Street

Vancouver artist and hair stylist Trevor Sands transforms Yue Minjun’s A-maze-ing Laughter statues in a one-day only public art installation on public art installation.  Visit for more information on the statues and other public art installations that form the Vancouver Biennale.

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