298 Michelle Wang Ee


Sometimes it is hard to tell if things scattered on Philly sidewalks are intentionally there, littered, or accidentally lost. I took lots of long, slow walks in West Philly during the two years I lived in the city for grad school—mostly not about getting places, but an excuse to take breaks from staying in the studio all day.

There are often chunks of hair extensions here and there, laying on the sidewalks. What was once fabulously glamourous becomes totally gross. I wondered if these could be considered parts of the body, but unlike “dead” skin, or “clipped” fingernails, the hair extensions on the ground are just the same hair extensions—as synthetic as the strands once adored on someone’s head. The only difference is the specter of bodily history they carry.

This arrangement of hair extensions highlight traces of complete strangers, and represents a collection from my walks through West Philly.