What we do

Haircuts by Children

  • Organization : NPO Art & Society Research Center
  • Section : None
  • Type of Grant Program : Single
  • Art Forms : Visual Art / Media Art


Children aged 10-14 will learn hair cutting techniques and customer service skills from professional hair stylists and then give free haircuts to adult customers in an actual hair salon. Planned by Canadian artists’ collective Mammalian Diving Reflex (MDR), this initiative was launched in Toronto in 2006 and has since been undertaken in 35 cities in Canada, Europe, the U.S., and Australia. As part of Socially Engaged Art: A New Wave of Art for Social Change (February 18 – March 5, 2017; venue: 3331 Arts Chiyoda) , Haircuts by Children will take place in Tokyo for the first time in Japan. Children who attend Kodomo Miraien, an alternative school in Adachi-ku will, along with visiting coordinators from Canada, undergo training at Tokyo Beauty Art College and try their hand at giving haircuts at the college’s salon. By creating “a place for unexpected encounters,” it will provide an opportunity to rethink the relationship between adults and children. MDR’s founder, Darren O’Donnell, will also visit Japan and give a talk on February 24.


【Mammalian Diving Reflex】
Performance artists’ collective founded in 1993. Based in Toronto, Canada, and active worldwide. From the time of its founding until 2003, it focused primarily on stage performances by artistic director Darren O’Donnell. However, conscious of the limits imposed by the backwardness and rigidity of traditional European theater, O’Donnell decided to broaden the collective’s approach. Now, in collaboration with schools, community centers, city offices, nursing homes, and international art festivals, the collective gives playful, yet provocative interactive performances that it dubs “Social Acupuncture.”


Michiko Akiba
Senior Researcher
Art & Society Research Center
#311E 3331 Arts Chiyoda, 6-11-14 Sotokanda,Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo


Tokyo Beauty Art College (Bunkyo City, Tokyo)
Kodomomirai-en school attached to Tokyo Future University (Adachi City, Tokyo)
3331 Arts Chiyoda (Chiyoda City, Tokyo)