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Shoes inspire thoughts of global harmony

An exhibition of children's shoes made from human hair runs from today (February 11) to February 29 at the Exhibition Gallery at the Tsuen Wan Town Hall. A small selection of the shoes is also on display at the ground floor, Western Market until February 29.

"Memorize the Future - Installation Work by Leung Mee-ping" features 5,000 children's shoes made from hair collected around the world. The exhibition encourages visitors to think about the world's transformation into a global village and the direction the planet is taking.

Leung collected the hair from salons, refuse collection points and through the Internet. She also had some help from her friends. Over three years, hair from thousands of people from nearly 100 countries was collected and turned into 10,000 children's shoes, each measuring two to four inches. All of them will face the same direction when on display.

Fallen hair denotes an end, while children's shoes symbolise a start. By mixing the hair of people from different nationalities and turning it into children's shoes, Leung conveys her wish for global harmony for the next generation.

She admits her use of this unusual medium has led to some "interesting" episodes. While collecting hair from refuse bins in the United States, the bins were often so tall that she could easily fall in. And one night she encountered a "dead body" next to a bin - it turned out to be a drunken man sleeping off his binge.

Leung hopes that the exhibition will encourage visitors to think about their position in the world, better understand other nationalities and contemplate the future of humanity.

The exhibition, the eighth in the Artists in the Neighbourhood Scheme, is organised by the Art Promotion Office (APO) of the Leisure and Cultural Services Department. The scheme is also a partnership project with the Mass Transit Railway Corporation, aiming to promote local visual arts to the public.

Free guided tours will be offered to the public and school groups. For information, contact the Community Art Team of the APO on 3101 2712 or 3101 2713. To learn more about the artist and her work, visit the website, .

The Tsuen Wan Town Hall is located at 72 Tai Ho Road, Tsuen Wan. It is open daily from 10am to 8pm. Western Market is at 323 Des Voeux Road Central, Sheung Wan (near On Tai Street).

Ends/Wednesday, February 11, 2004
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