Emblem of Death is large-scale wall installation, which consists of numerous medical images of the artist’s father’s illness. At close examination, one is able to see the details of each scan. The scans are positioned in a specific arrangement signifying a universal geometry that one might have seen but may not register at first glance. This geometry embodies the underlying structure imposed upon disorder in the body. Cancer, or the sickness in a body, represents disorder. Death, the ultimate end of a living body, is the absence of an open system or order. By imposing structure on to chaos, the visual representation of disease is now transformed into a beautiful and intricate pattern thus stripped of its emotional connection. At initial observation, the viewer may also perceive the images as sonograms. While the most well known application of the ultrasound is its use in sonography to produce pictures of fetuses in a mother’s womb, the double meaning of the images contrasts ideas of life and death (Figures 1, 2).
Grimm Lee was born in S. Korea and grew up in Southern California. She earned her MFA from Mount Royal School of Art at Maryland Institute College of Art and BFA in Sculpture from Rhode Island School of Design. She received Full Fellowship to Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in 2010. For more information, visit her website at:
Disclosure: The author declares no conflict of interest.