AboutAli's Barber Shop at 258 Bethnal Green Road is the most popular Asian barber shop in London's East End, with queues often running out on to the street. Ali, Mohsin, Shehz and Vicky, the four Pakistani barbers, work tirelessly to create the meticulous haircuts demanded by their predominantly Bengali clientele. Operating at lightening speed with clippers, scissors and cut-throat razors, they fashion mohicans, v-cuts, and flat-tops, often embellished with intricate geometric patterns.
Transforming the basement of the barber shop into a pop-up photographic studio, Richard Nicholson spent three weeks documenting a cross-section of Ali's customers, creating formal portraits which celebrate the varied haircuts and the prevailing fashions.
To be shown as a large-scale projection accompanied by a soundtrack constructed from the diverse sounds of the barber shop, this installation will offer a radical new context for its subjects, representing a unique local street culture that is excluded from the mainstream media.