Medicinal Botany


May 2013. work-in-progress

Medicinal plants – being served as the source of most of medicines and drugs – have been identified and used throughout human history. However, plants as an organism, unlike computerised machines, have a contigu- ous living system undergo metabolism, possess a capacity to grow, respond to stimuli, reproduce and adapt to their environment. Could plants be transformed into medical devices, to establish a natural symbiosis with the patients who rely on them?
‘Medicinal Plant Devices’ is a work-in-progress bio-art project, proposing to use plants as semi-living medical devices for producing mass pharmaceutical ingredient or human tissue, and as bio-sensors to detect certain physical signs or symptoms. It currently has two projects in this serious. The use of geneti- cally modified plants as medical devices for blood making and pregnancy test offers an alternative to medical treatments.
The speculative work examines the space between ancient beliefs and future unknowns in medicine area, between nonsense and science, the individual treatments and hospital system. It takes the oriental traditional medicine attitude and emerging biotechnology support, aims at evoking audience’s thoughts towards bio- design and modernising medicine interaction.
This project is currently at the stage of prototyping and experiment. It needs further development based on scientific support to make the ideas more concrete and convincing, then produce multi-media outcomes mainly consist of objects and films.

Blood Tree | Pregnancy Petal | Plant Parasites

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