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Wellcome Collection's new permanent gallery BEING HUMAN opens to explore trust, identity, and health in a changing world

(People's Daily Online)    15:01, September 11, 2019

Wellcome Collection's new permanent gallery BEING HUMAN (Photo by Tianxing Bai)

Being Human, the new permanent gallery at Wellcome Collection, has opened its doors exploring what it will mean to be human in the remaining part of the 21st century. Divided into four sections, the new display presents around 50 artworks and objects, which explore our hopes and fears about new forms of medical knowledge and our changing relationships with ourselves, each other and the world.

The Genetics Section of the exhibition discusses genetic knowledge and how much we know about our genetic inheritance. It includes a tank of zebrafish, a species with which we share 70% of our genes and which are often used in medical research.

The Minds & Bodies Section presents artworks and objects that approach themes about mental health, the body, and how we value ourselves and each other in a changing society. It will include Dolly Sen’s Help the Normals and Dignity, which challenge preconceptions of mental health conditions and their treatment.

The Infection Section explores our thoughts and feelings about infections in general and how this affects our relationships with others.

The Environmental Breakdown Section focusses on environmental breakdown and its effects on humans – what is being lost, how are we responding to it and where we might find ourselves in the future.

Clare Barlow, Curator, said, “BEING HUMAN explores our thoughts and feelings about health, our identities, relationships, and our impact on the changing environment. Our understanding of what it means to be human is being transformed not only by new research but also by the voices of those with diverse identities and experience. Bringing together these objects reveals how we are all different, we are all valuable, and we are all connected.”

Since it opened in 2007, Wellcome Collection is a free museum and library that aims to challenge how we all think and feel about health. It creates opportunities for people to think deeply about the connections between science, medicine, life, and art. (Tianxing Bai) 


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