video; running time: 0:59"
edition of 3
The Smart Gallery 杀马特发廊takes the form of a pop-up beauty parlor in art Gallery and Museums over China. SMART(Sha-ma-te) have been shamed by China’s urbanites for their outlandish hair with some calling them “tasteless and low-brow”. Smart community is a subculture created by China’s rural youths born in the 1990s. Found mostly in Southern China’s factory towns, Smart’s fashion sense is inspired by Japanese Visual Kei, known for its punk rock hairstyle and makeup.
From ancient times to the present, hair carried secrets and rich meanings. “Hairstyle” can be expressed as a form of resistance of individuals to mainstream values, a “movable temporary device”, and a gesture and action that is better than a speech. In subcultural studies, playing with hair (making art) can also be seen as a form of shame, a sign of self-exile, and a symbol of tension between the dominant group and the subordinate group.
The purpose of Exhibitionist Series is to break the boundaries of “daily display” and “art exhibition”, and to reduce the distance between the public and contemporary art. In our current hyper connected society, people’s desire to “display” is everywhere- selfies, Insagram, Wechat, and in its most extreme form-Live Stream. As a global online culture with a fundamental desire to expose and to peep, Live Streams occupy a space where visual expression and textual feedback are instantly accessible. This live space parasitizes online space and becomes the way of displaying and self- expressing for the new generation.