Teng Wang

"The Cycle of Life: Images in 24 Hours"

Section MS6, Gabriella Demczuk

Keywords: environment, nature, photography, prints, body, food

The project explores the relationship between the foods we eat and the body’s microbiome, understanding the digestive process as a process of rebirth. Our bodies are strongly connected to food, which is broken down by the large numbers of bacteria and yeasts in our digestive system. Professor Sarkis Mazmanian, a microbiologist from the California Institute of Technology, explains “what makes us human is, in my opinion, the combination of our own DNA, plus the DNA of our gut microbes.” Human cells make up only 43% of the body's total cell count. The rest are microscopic colonists 1. Through the digestive process, a cycle of death and rebirth takes place, which constantly recreates the body’s microbial environment.

The project aims to find the beauty of this digestive process by creating a series of images made from the body’s bacteria, which comes into contact with bread. As the bread decomposes overtime, different types of mold grow, which are then exposed to light sensitive paper to chemigrams.

  1. James Gallagher, BBC, https://www.bbc.com/news/health-43674270, 2018