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BEIJING (Reuters Life!) - You've seen sculptures in stone. And wood. Now there's even human hair.
A Beijing hairdresser is preparing to celebrate the 60th anniversary of Communist China's founding with a replica of the buildings and monuments around Tiananmen Square -- all made entirely of human hair.
So far, Huang Xin has completed the Monument to the People's Heroes, and is putting the finishing touches to the Gate of Heavenly Peace or Tiananmen, complete with a miniature portrait of former Chairman Mao -- the only part not made of hair.
That leaves him with another two huge communist buildings -- the Great Hall of People and The National Museum of Chinese History -- to complete before the October 1 anniversary.
About 11 kg of hair and 500 yuan ($71) worth of hair dye and other supplies were used to build the Gate of Heavenly Peace replica, which is about a meter long.
It took Huang days to draw a simple blueprint and five months to gather enough hair to create the landmark.
Instead of throwing away customers' hair after a cut, Huang Xin sweeps it up, washes and dyes the clumps of hair and converts them into a substitute for bricks, wood or any other material needed for his artworks.
"Some customers are supportive, some are not. Some just don't believe it's possible to make models of such huge architecture using such a delicate material as human hair," Huang told Reuters.
Already, Huang has made replicas of the Bird's Nest Olympic Stadium, the Olympic torch and ancient Chinese artifacts.
It generally takes months to scrape together enough hair for one large replica, which requires dozens of tubes of dye to change the dried hair to the desired color.
In the long-run, he said he would like to bring his job and his hobby together, creating images of his customers using their own hair, which he believes would last longer than photographs.
"I am planning to do portraits of customers using their own hair. From a haircut I would get both short and long hair. So technically, I would be able to make flat works, that would, for example, resemble photographs," he said.
Editing by Sugita Katyal