Huiqi Qiu Captures the Last Days of Chinatown’s Oldest Hair Salon

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In light of COVID-19’s impact on design programs around the world—and especially its impact on the visibility of student portfolio shows—we’re launching a new series spotlighting student projects we love.

First up: Huiqi Qiu’s short documentary film CUT.

Qiu grew up in Xiamen, China, and moved to Vancouver at the age of 15. After earning her bachelor’s degree in graphic design at Boston University, she enrolled in School of Visual Arts’ MFA Design program in New York City.

As she details, “What I’ve gained from living in different places and interacting with diverse individuals enhances my passion to be a better designer. I chose design as my career because … I see graphic design as one of the most effective mediums to tackle social issues we are facing. I hope to use design to speak up, empower and connect people.”

Check out her portfolio here. From animation to posters to branding projects, it’s a visual playground.

CUT, meanwhile, captures the last days of the oldest hair salon in New York’s Chinatown.

As Qiu says, “I am hoping to get the voice out there and show how gentrification is deeply rooted in a history of discriminatory laws and practices in the United States, and how it also has enormous impacts on residents’ lives.”

Watch the film, and see excerpts from Qiu’s accompanying book, below. To learn more about Qiu—or to hire her—click here.