Gallery Program

Two images from Lucy Kim's new exhibit of melanin images


Chapter One: Melanin Images via Genetically-Modified Bacteria
By Lucy Kim

October 24, 2022-January 19, 2023
An exhibit in the Second Floor Connector Gallery and Stanley Building Lobby.

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Watch Lucy discuss her residency. 

Since early 2019, while an artist in residence at the Broad Institute, Lucy Kim has been developing a process in collaboration with Broad scientists for creating images on paper with eumelanin. One of the main bio-pigments behind human skin, hair, and eye color, these differences in coloration are often used to justify ideas around race and color-based social hierarchies. Kim is exploring, materially and conceptually, what happens when images become visible through the same black and brown pigment that plays a key role in human coloration and appearance. Through an adaptation of the screen printing process, she transfers genetically-modified E. coli cells that produce melanin directly onto paper. The prints in this exhibition are the first finished works to come out of this process, marking the first chapter in ongoing research exploring the relationship between human vision, our biological and evolutionary frameworks, and social constructions.

About the Artist

Photo credit: Julia Featheringill
Images courtesy of the artist.