Ky who is a native of and lives in Ivory Coast, started creating art with her hair about two years ago and already her Instagram account has over 64,000 followers. KY says ideas come to her like a flash, in a very intuitive way, and then she creates her art using simple materials like thread, needles, wire, wool, hair extensions, and of course, herself. “In fact, I’m an integral part of the art itself,” she says.
“It’s part of the concept. Maybe down the road I will do it on a certain person. But if I advocate love and self-esteem, self-confidence, then I [can] inspire other black women to be proud of their entire heritage aesthetic.”Her Instagrams range in emotion and topic, from a playful light bulb to a pistol meant to symbolize her opposition to gun violence.
But one of her latest pieces, a response to the #MeToo hashtag, has a particularly powerful message behind it. The art itself shows a man lifting up a woman’s skirt. In her caption, Ky wrote, “NOTHING JUSTIFIES RAPE, SEXUAL ASSAULT OR HARASSMENT… Speak out because you don’t have to carry this burden alone, talk to help other women who are afraid, talk to start a revolution, talk to change things.” She also wrote that her direct messages were open for anyone who wanted to talk, leading a number of women to write and confide in her.
In addition to hair sculpting, Ky intends to launch a clothing line and dive into other artistic fields, but she’s very aware of how this particular kind of art can affect a social movement like #MeToo. She says: “Thousands of people can say the same thing without it having the same impact. What makes the difference is the way you say it. Art makes it possible to reach more people because it finds an original, particular way to speak about the subject so that many people will linger.”