The Art of Stem Cells

From Harvard Magazine:

Jennifer Quick, a Ph.D. candidate in the department of the history of art and architecture, stood before her audience in the main gallery of the Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts. Behind her, on a free-standing wall running down the middle of the gallery, hung more than a dozen works by Michael Wang ’03, a visual artist who creates micrograph images of artificially produced stem cells.

But as Quick began to lecture on Wang’s works, another voice could be heard from behind the wall. It belonged to cellular biologist Gabriella Boulting, Ph.D. ’12, who was speaking to her own audience about pieces Wang had created that hung on her side of the wall. Dueling gallery tours? Wang, an artist who aims to bring together art and science in interesting and thought-provoking ways, prefers to think of two lecturers working as one. “I wanted to literally stage an encounter between two disciplines, the artistic community on one hand and the scientific on the other,” Wang says. “I don’t think of artworks as ending with the individual artistic object. There is an expanded field that includes context and discourse around [that object] so I really wanted to make sure that could be an expanded part of the work. I wanted people from within the University to provide two very different insights at the exact same time.” His latest work, Differentiation Series, is a sequence of micrograph images of artificially produced stem cells that have been hand-tinted using a system that matches a unique color to every specific cell type that can potentially be produced from these initially undifferentiated cells.

More here.