iori tomita: new world transparent specimens
iori tomita: new world transparent specimens
jun 12, 2011

iori tomita: new world transparent specimens

one of the stained and preserved fish in iori tomita’s series ‘shinsekai [toumei hyouhon]’ (‘new world transparent specimens’)


japanese artist iori tomita transforms the scientific technique of preserving and dying organism specimens into an art form with his series, ‘shinsekai [toumei hyouhon]‘ (‘new world transparent specimens’).

tomita began experimenting with the preservation and staining of fish while working as a fisherman, gradually developing his mastery of the nuances of the process necessary for refining the form and colour of the pieces. for each specimen, tomita first removes the scales and skin of fish that have been preserved in formaldehyde. he leaves the organism to soak in a mixture of blue stain, ethyl alcohol, and glacial acetic acid before utilizing the enzyme trypsin to break down protein and muscles, stopping the reaction as soon as they become transparent but before they lose their form. the bones are then stained by soaking the fish in a combination of potassium hydroxide and red dye, before the specimen is preserved in glycerin.



iori tomita: ‘people may look at my specimens as an academic material, a piece of art, or even an entrance to philosophy. there is no limitation to how you interpret their meaning. I hope you will find my work as a ‘lens’ to project a new image, a new world that you’ve never seen before.‘


iori tomita: new world transparent specimens




iori tomita: new world transparent specimens




iori tomita: new world transparent specimens




iori tomita: new world transparent specimens




iori tomita: new world transparent specimens




iori tomita: new world transparent specimens left: full view; right: detail view of head





iori tomita: new world transparent specimens




iori tomita: new world transparent specimens




photographs of tomita’s ‘new world transparent specimens’, alongside information about each, is accessible through the ‘transparent specimen‘ app for iPhone and iPad (6 USD). the pieces themselves are sold at tokyu hands department store in japan.




via wired via dvice

  • wow! science + art

    Karla says:
  • Here is a beautiful example of science/art. Dichroic Glass.

    Chimacintosh says:
  • Fantastic!

    …although the colours on the upper pics seem heavily enhanced (especially compared to the lower ones)

    fetapapa says:
  • art and science on such a magnificent cocktail! woah!
    I would so looove to see them up close, the whole collection! 😀

    Danie says:
  • Wonder if he would work with human remains. Imagine how gorgeous we would look! Donate one’s body to Art, not Science!

    hopeforbeauty says:

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