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All About Body: Inside Out

As part of the body series (see part 1 body architect Lucy McRae post here), we move underneath the skin and get anatomical.

Inside Out exhibition at Natural History Museum in London just finished last week, it featured nearly 100 plastinate and capillary specimens, from goats to giraffes and octopuses to ostriches. Strip off the skin, you can see much more easily the complexity of life and the similarity/ difference among varied species.

In another side of the globe, there is a exhibition currently held in Chicago about female anatomy in art. Curated by Street Anatomy, the exhibition Objectify This explores the objectivity of female anatomy and the fine line between anatomy and eroticism. The curator Street Anatomy, a site founded by Vanessa Ruiz in 2007, records the increasingly widespread trend of using anatomy in contemporary art and pop culture. You could probably identity the hype of “fleshing out” what supposed to be contained inside. An prime example in fashion would be Rick Genest, the zombie boy who came into fashion scene more than a year ago.

The overexposed body doesn’t look scary to us, but it inspires a new kind of aesthetics that gives structural clarity. ATZtudio from Mexico developed a new architectural concept for a performing arts school based on vascular system. The main idea was to create space through density and interesting layering effect.

Back to London, it would be interesting to mention that parallel to the Inside Out exhibition, there is another Da Vinci-related anatomy exhibition at the Queen’s Gallery in Buckingham Palace. The renaissance man has multiple interests, and one of them is to understand human anatomy. This exhibition is the largest ever of Leonardo da Vinci’s studies of the human body.

Is the trend of “inside out” harking back to the renaissance interest? Or maybe it’s an idea to see through the increasingly similar manmade outer shell, and get to the core to recognize the uniqueness and complexity of flesh and blood.

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