Live Henna camouflage shoot!

Live Henna camouflage shoot!

Sounds exciting from the title doesn’t it?! It truly was an unforgettable, nerve-wrecking crazy experience, but I’m so happy to have done it and learnt a lot from it!!

When I first got approached by Fill in the Blank; this amazing new creative workspace in Hong Kong, to take part in their Open House Festival, I was super excited and instantly started thinking of engaging and interactive ways to demonstrate and share my love of henna art with the audience. I was almost immediately hooked onto the idea of a live henna shoot, as in all my experience, I know that people love watching henna take shape, and they’re always truly fascinated when they watch me create the patterns and designs all freehand. What better way than to give them something to enjoy over 3 hours! It sounded and looked exciting and challenging in my head, so I decided to do it and immediately contacted my good friend, an amazingly talented fashion designer & fashion photographer; Matryoshka, to collaborate this shoot with, and she was sold as soon as I told her the idea.

I’ve been really inspired recently by this talented Body painter Cecilia Paredes , and have been imagining doing a camouflage henna piece since I first saw her work a few months back.

The idea of a camouflage Chinese New Year – Year of the Snake themed live henna shoot was born from there! I was given an entire wall space, and free rein over my creativity; something that’s very difficult to get in Hong Kong! I researched into snakes, the patterns, body paints, henna and body paints and did a whole bunch of experiments before I managed to come up with a concrete idea (the night before the shoot!)

I had never worked with full body painting before, neither had I ever done camouflage henna before, so at first it was extremely nerve wrecking, and we had a lot of mishaps till about 30 mins before the event was meant to start. I was so thankful to have the amazing support of some of my friends, who were running around sorting last minute things for me, as we ended up truly developing the idea on the day itself!

So, let me share my body and henna painting experience with you through this small photo journal below! You can view the entire album on our Facebook page!

Camouflage henna 1

Camouflage henna 2

Camouflage henna 6

Camouflage henna 3

Camouflage henna 4

The entire process of painting the model and the wall took around 2 hours and was a complex mixed media painting of: spray paints, acrylic paints, body paints, makeup powders, glitters, crystals, and ofcourse henna! After the initial nerves of having over 80 people watch me paint fizzled away, I was able to just get into the rhythm of the henna and let the paints glide me through the whole shoot! Having an amazingly patient, tolerant and still model definitely helped ease the nerves, and the shock factor of the entire nude shoot definitely added to the ‘out-of-the-box’ theme of the Open House festival, making the entire experience that much more challenging and enjoyable!

Now, keep an eye out for the final shots in the form of our Chinese New Year greeting card, going live on Saturday 9th February!!

In the meantime, I’d just like to say a huge thank you to Fill in the Blank for giving me such an amazing opportunity to be totally creative! To Aanchal from Matryoshka for pushing me over my limits, challenging me, and keeping me on track! To the super patient and amazing model for volunteering her time and body to be my canvas! To my best friend for being there with me throughout the entire thing, helping and supporting me, and for the wonderful and encouraging audience for inspiring me!

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