Monica Mak & Shiva Shoeybi: The Hair Scarf Project


Shiva Shoeybi

The Hair Scarf Project

Toronto, ON | September 19-28, 2019
Opening Reception: Thursday, September 19, 5pm-8pm

Multimedia art installation The Hair Scarf Project launches the fall programming season at Charles Street Video. A collaborative work by documentary filmmaker Monica Mak and mixed media artist Shiva Shoeybi, The Hair Scarf Project combines fabric-based art with documentary video installation. It reflects on the internal versus external constructions of female appearance, as well as on the lived experiences of three Muslim women of different ages and backgrounds, who choose to wear the hijab.

In this exhibition, Shoeybi has designed two head scarves, each with a highly stylized hair design print. Both have been made entirely from artificial hair, intricately woven. Mak has documented stories recounting the defining moments in the lives of the three women. Together these disparate media forms – one tactile, the other digital – inhabit the exhibition space, functioning as the threshold between the public and private spheres. On the one hand, the intimacy of the hair scarf artwork on display enhances the women’s personal narratives on appearance, told through the documentary medium. On the other hand, the room’s function as a space for the viewing public lends itself to our fascination with casting our gaze on the female body.

Created through the Charles Street Video (CSV) Maker Space Residency Program.

Exhibition runs from 19-28 September 2019.

Opening Reception
Thursday, September 19, 5pm-8pm.


Monica Mak
In her artistic practice, Mak is drawn to the themes of female empowerment, the immigrant experience, and sub-cultural practices. Under her production company Siobhan Productions, she produced and co-directed Saving Our Tongues (2017), a documentary short about Toronto-based speakers of endangered languages. She is in post-production on Make Food Not War (2020), a culinary film about racial tension among young East Asian people. Mak holds a doctorate in Communications Studies from McGill University. Born and raised in Montreal, she now resides in Toronto.

Shiva Shoeybi
In her body of work, Shoeybi views the world through a multidisciplinary lens and is fascinated with cultural identity and cross-culturalism. She has experimented with an array of media including performance, installation, photography, film, and textile. In 2018, she was one of four Iranian-Canadian artists selected for a group show entitled Four Women Four Voices at Gallery 50, in Toronto, Canada. In recent times, she has utilized hair as both an evocative material and a thematic focal point in her research. Shoeybi holds a B.A. in Fine Arts from the University of Western Ontario. Raised in an Iranian household in Dubai, she now resides in Toronto.


Charles Street Video
Charles Street Video (CSV) is a non-profit production organization established in 1981 to help support media artists. It provides affordable access to equipment and post-production editing facilities and space for creating art installations, videos, films, and other media art forms. It offers regular workshops, training sessions and residencies.

Charles Street Video is located at the
The Toronto Media Arts Centre (2nd floor)
32 Lisgar Street, Toronto, Ontario M6J 0C9 Canada

Gallery Hours
Monday-Friday: 10am-5pm.
Weekend Viewings with the Artist(s) Present:
Saturday, Sept. 21: By appointment only
Saturday, Sept. 28: By appointment only
Please schedule a viewing on the CSV online calendar:
and call 416-603-6564, when you arrive. Someone will receive you at the entrance of the Toronto Media Arts Centre.

Admission is always free.

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Charles Street Video is located on the second floor of Toronto Media Arts Centre. The main entrance into the building is on the north side of the building, opening up onto Lisgar Park. The park is accessible from all sides via gently sloping ramp, but is mostly level with the sidewalk. The doorway into TMAC is on the far left (east side of building facing the north).

None of the doors are powered. If you require assistance with the door, please notify CSV ahead of time, and they will meet you. The Hair Scarf Project gallery is located on the second floor, accessible via an elevator just inside the entrance. The gallery and washrooms are barrier-free. Ground floor washroom and toilet are wheelchair accessible.