Week 6 Response: Midterm

Title: Wu-Tian-molecule

Artist: Tian Wu

Completion Date: Feb.16th 2015

Place of Creation: Home, on the laptop

Style: Photography and Photoshop Art

Genre: Self-portrait and graphic design

Technique: Photoshop

Material: Photography and Print

With Chinese new year coming , I was inspired by the traditional Chinese new year silhouette art traditional Chinese new year silhouette art

and the pattern from crystallography by Dorothy Crowfoot HodgkinInsulin Crystallography

, whose lab made the first Xray photo of a crystal in 1934, and decided to design and produce an art piece below.
Wu-Tian-moleculeHypothetical system of Wu-Tian-molecules

I was intrigued by the simplistic but beautiful geometric aesthetics of the insulin crystal pattern thus manipulated the image of my face(my most significant identity) to create a hypothetical Wu-Tian molecule similar to the insulin crystal pattern. 99% of the human genome is the same, it is the 1% which is different makes each individual different.The hypothetical Wu-Tian molecule is such concept which represents the 1% unique genome in me on the individual molecular level.  At a micro level, it can be regarded as me because this is what forms my identity as well as makes myself unique from others.  I turned the visual representation of myself (in this case, my biological appearance as my identity/my life) into a symbol, a thing that represents the abstract concept of my identity/life since it consists of only my face.(“identinception”) In addition to that, I intentionally make the pattern somewhat similar to ancient Chinese metal coin patternChinese ancient metal coin to reveal my “Chineseness” (which is also regarded as a vital part of my identity by myself) as well. That is why at the macro level there is small negative ions in between the big positive ions to mimic the metallic bonding in metal elements.

Metallic Bonding

The conversation I try to make is that on the anonymous and abstract Internet where abstract symbols are everywhere, our physical/biological characteristics become obsolete. This thought is inspired by Australian artist Stelarc’s famous presentation “the human body is obsolete”. His context is the rapid development of technology while mine context is the virtual reality and the Internet. Is it necessary for us to preserve our physical identity as well as our cultural identity in the virtual reality? If so, how do we achieve that?

-Tian Wu


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