by Bo Wang
Country: Netherlands, China
Year: 2023
Duration: 37'

This film is about haunting memories of Asia’s late 20th-century modernization. The story departs from a 1965 United States embargo on the hair trade, known as the “Communist Hair Ban”. In every wig resides a ghost from the imperial past.


film director

Bo Wang

is an artist, filmmaker and researcher based in the Netherlands. His works have been exhibited internationally, including venues like the Guggenheim Museum and Museum of Modern Art in New York, Garage Museum in Moscow, Rotterdam Film Festival in the Netherlands, Visions du Réel in Switzerland, Image Forum Festival in Tokyo, DMZ Docs in South Korea, Times Museum in Guangzhou, Para Site in Hong Kong, among many others. He received a fellowship from the Robert Flaherty Film Seminar in 2013 and was an artist-in- residency at ACC-Rijksakademie 2017-2018 and NTU CCA in 2016.


China Concerto (mm, 2012), Traces of An Invisible City: Three Notes on Hong Kong (2016), The Wangs (mm, 2016), Miasma, Plants, Export Paintings (cm, 2017), Many Undulating Things (doc, 2019), Murmuring Debris and Leaves Silently Fall (cm, 2019), An Asian Ghost Story (mm, 2023).


film director

“Wigs were vital for the rise of the Asian economy in the post-war era. In the heyday of the 1960s, it was the number four export in Hong Kong's export-orientated industrialization. Between Mao's China - the largest source of hair supplies, and the insatiable Western market, Hong Kong functioned as the gateway. In 1965, U.S. Treasury Department imposed an embargo on "Asiatic hair" to cut off foreign currency to Communist China in the hair trade. The highly racialized category of "Asiatic hair" was later revised as "communist hair", to enable the wig industry to develop in U.S. allies, including mainly South Korea and Japan, which led to a significant reconfiguration of light industry in East Asia. Departing from the moment of the communist hair ban, through stories of movement, diaspora and migration, this project examines the role of Hong Kong as a transient space that mediates and sanitizes the connection between different worlds. The relationship between U.S. Imperialism and East Asia order in the Cold War era.”


& Credits

DIRECTOR, SCREENPLAY, EDITING: Bo Wang. CINEMATOGRAPHY: Yavuz Selim Isler. SOUND: Jeroen Goeijers. CAST: Michael de Ross, Sidney Vereycken, Sai-wang Lau, Zoenie Liwen, Deng Ruoyao, Jane Yao Zoe Tang, Jo-lene Ong. VOICE OVER: Jia Zhao Hamza Junaid Tommy Tse. PRODUCTION: Geodesic Studio, Vines Films. 

CONTACT: Bo Wang bo@bo-wang.net