The Great Tree of Sacrifice

Regina Cantu De Alba, Utsav Chadha, Woraya Boonyapanachoti

The entanglement of religion, ritual, consumerism and hair.


The Great Tree of Sacrifice is a conceptual and participatory art installation that tries to narrate the bitter truth behind the hair industry. Wigs and hair extensions have recently become increasingly popular. The parties involved are oblivious to the reality about where and under what circumstances the hair is collected and manufactured. Impoverished women in southeast Asian countries, under religious beliefs, get their heads shaved and sacrifice their hair under a false sense of blessing. However, they are unaware that the same hair is used to earn millions of dollars each year.

The installation is designed in the form of a Hindu/Buddhist temple money donation box, and requests the participants to donate a strand of hair to the box. Henceforth, a fan circulates air in the box and renders the donated hair futile for any use.

The entire installation is built using trash.


Art Strategies