Have you heard the term “Desierto Florido”? Chile's "Atacama" desert, which is 50 times drier than California's Death Valley in the U.S. It's the phenomenon of over 200 flowers blooming when torrential rains sweep through a desert where nothing seems to be alive.
The strength of the nameless seeds that have endured over the years in a harsh environment where no living creature would ever exist makes us all amazed.
But this great and vibrant nature is being collapsed by the human race. Life on Earth which existed for the last hundreds of years is going extinct due to the environmental pollution, reckless development, poaching, and so on. Soon, our descendants will throw back the beauty of fireflies only through the books.
What about our society? Lookism and life-depreciation are rampant in the society and are becoming serious social problems. It's because people only focus on the external appearance, rather than look into the beauty of life itself.
A weed that survives the cold winter in a small crack of asphalt road, a brain-dead patient who gives new life through organ donation, and a blind artist who draws hope with a touch of his hand.
Finding and sharing the fundamental beauty of life will be the first step in creating a culture of life, which is being forgotten in our society. We really want to share the beauty of life with people around the world that has been hidden and has not been recognized for a long time.
There is no doubt that “Food and Feed” are very critical and fundamental elements for all living organisms on the earth.
Although we became able to live in affluence of food due to increased food productivity followed by the growth of science and technology, some ironic situations are happening because of food issues. For instance, some people are struggling due to obesity while at some parts of the world the others are starving to death. Recently, ‘Food & Eating’ has become one of the most popular contents in various media. As well, pictures of food also have become the most frequently uploaded items on SNS. On the other hand, many NGOs (Non-governmental Organizations) keep working on the campaigns, appealing the public to help poor and starving kids in Africa. There are people enjoying meats while other people are enjoying vegetarian diets.
Some people say that eating with joy would not bring any guilty-mind while others say eating light is a virtue. Besides, many healthy foods from all over the world are being introduced through various media.
At Bio-art Contest 2018, we are planning to have time to share and contemplate various problems around ‘Food and Feed’ that the world is facing today.
A virtual reality that integrates two separate world opens our eyes to new possibilities and perspectives. Based on its own possibilities, digital media made people express artistic imagination in wide range through technical imagination. In this environment, many works related to human life lower the borders between the areas of art and technology, suggesting a whole new paradigm.
A life can be a substance or not. Information also can be considered a sort of life. The main agent can be expanded not only to human and nature but also to virtual life. Each agent of life creates own unique image and generates creative and artistic events with digital media.
We expect to see virtual life that would be created by combination of biology, digital technology and artistic imagination and the possibility of coexistence at ‘The 5th Bio-Art Contest’.
In the movie “the Revenant”, Leonardo Dicaprio fights with the bear, struggles with the cold in the hoarse skin, and eats the liver of a buffalo. What about the movie “Martian”? Matt Damon, who has been isolated in the Mars accidently, strives to survive with all his knowledge and given resources. Humans plan for interstellar travel through the wormhole in the movie “Interstellar” in order to save the future of human race.
As shown, the “SURVIVAL” is desperate thing which makes impossible matters possible. It cannot be exchangeable for anything for everyone. For this reason, sometimes it seems to be too serious or dramatic issue. However, indeed, the “survival” includes every single phenomenon and process that we go through from the beginning of our life to the end of our life. It means that it is very simple and basic task that every living thing has to face on a daily basis.
In the spring, the tree soaks up the water through his root, makes leaves, blooms, and then bears fruits. Every single day that a salmon goes through until she becomes a grown-up and returns to their streams of origin to spawn, and dies. Every single moment that we experience from the time when we were in the womb. Every moments of breathing, eating, working, reproducing, giving birth, and aging. What about all other cells in the nature? They divide themselves, receives oxygen and nutrients to maintain their life and then die after all…
Life, and the ‘survival’ of this life is “the thing” that is very normal but abnormal, minor but valuable, beautiful but ugly, merciful but brutal. Therefore, the reason and the mission of our existence is to find out how to understand, maintain, and develop this “life” every day. Through 2016 Bio-Art Contest, we expect that every single participant would experience time of thinking and expressing the mystique of life and survival in more creative and artistic perspective.
Sustainability: Abundance of Life is the theme of 2015 BIOART Exhibition organized in collaboration with SNU Medicinal Bioconvergence Research Center (Biocon), Seoulin Bioscience Co., Ltd, and the Digital Art Weeks International.
The event showcases Korean as well as international artists whose approaches cover a broad spectrum of research related to the life sciences and whose artworks explore the actual use biological materials in art.
Following its previous editions – “The Link of Life” (2013) and “Life and its Creative Energy” (2014), this year exhibition is focused on science and art in aesthetic discourse raising questions about the role of scientific research in contemporary art aesthetics and the ethical considerations raised by use of living materials in the Bio Art movement.
Consisting of an exhibition and outreach program, the event presents actual scientific research within a gallery context and reveals to the public the methods of science that conventionally sit hidden away behind the walls of countless laboratories.
Open to the public, the outreach program explores techniques employed in laboratories by scientists within a workshop context and engages participants in a process of discovery of some of the scientific pursuits being illustrated by the artworks.
The organizers of the Bio-Art Exhibition believe that the event will provoke a debate and raise questions around contemporary bio-art practices, aesthetics and scientific inquire.
Life, the creative energy! The living organism lives his or her own life by going through every step of the birth, the growth, giving birth, and the death. With all these activities, “life” truly means something. So far, we have not clearly figured out the mystique of our ‘life’. Human beings, just like other living organisms, just live the human life. Tough, humans keep trying to get closer to the ‘life’ by constantly studying the value of life. This might be the main reason why the sciences and the arts are both interested in the fundamentals of our life.
Every living organism consistently make moves in order to maintain his/her life. Metabolism, homeostasis, growth and development, exercise, reproduction and adaptation. These are all part of our life that requires elaborate efforts. Actually, we all need energy for such activities, which we call the ‘life energy’. When we talk about the order of the great nature, it refers to the phenomenon and the organic flow of this “life energy”.
Aside from very basic activities to survive, we do continue our intellectual activities to create values or to express ourselves. This means that we are the part of life that consist the nature with creative energy, which is the main difference from other living things. And this creative activities are science and art.
All sciences are referred to the activity that pursues the goal of finding unity and link between different existences in the nature while all arts are referred to the activity of expressing the value of the essence of life in the perspective of human and nature. In the end, the creative energy of humans is the power of finding life energy of the great nature and restructuring it. Thus, we can understand that ‘life’ itself is the main source of the new creation and observation, and the common factor of science and art.
In the 2nd Biocon-Seoulin Bioart Contest in 2014, we expect that the mystique and joy of life and consistently changing life energy can be bloomed to its utmost with the creative energy.
So far, we have not realized the real value of our lives, thinking that we are too close to each other or we just naturally deserve each other. It is such a dishonor to take the first rank of suicidal rate among OECD member countries, and it might have been caused by our indifference to each other.
Thus, finding the value of our life will be the process of finding back the value and nobility of our life that we have been forgetting about. 2013 Biocon-Seoulin Bio-Art Contest is the scientific event to figure out the value of life and to project this through artwork.
All Korean citizens are eligible to participate with their own original artwork in the forms of photography, video clip, or other facture. What is special about this contest is that we have special theme of “Link of Life”, which is the biggest difference from other existing art contests.
With given theme, we are trying to find out the beauty that cells, humans, natures are generating by making connections between each other. Through these steps, people who are studying bioscience would have creative time to find out the beauty from our daily life. For those who are interested in our life and life-related issues would become closer to bioscience from this opportunity.
We expect all participants would find out the fun of bioscience from this Biocon-Seoulin Bio-Art Contest.