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Arts & Culture

How Can First Impressions Mislead Us?

Part 3 of the TED Radio Hour episode Playing With Perceptions.

About Hetain Patel's TED Talk

Artist Hetain Patel toys with race, identity, language and accent — and challenges us to think beyond surface appearances.

About Hetain Patel

Contrary to what we might usually assume, imitating somebody can reveal something unique.

As a child, Hetain Patel wanted to be like Spider-Man or Bruce Lee. Later, he aimed to be like his father, who embodied a different kind of bravery.

As a conceptual artist, Patel has used photography, sculpture, installation and performance to challenge cultural identity and ask the question: What determines our identities?

For his work, he has grown a mustache exactly like the one his father wore when he emigrated from India to the United Kingdom in the 1960s, and remixed the practice of henna tattooing to incorporate English words and comic books.

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