Civil and Environmental Engineering Ph.D. student Libin Yang was awarded second place in the Science as Art Competition at the 2021 Materials Research Society Fall Meeting.
Here is Yang’s description of the artwork- “The best way to know the world is to observe, and people throughout history have devoted themselves to observing and recording everything they see, just as Jean-Henri Fabre did 100 years ago, in a garden called Harmas de s érignan, trying to use watercolors to render this ingenious creature, the fungus. This figure is reproduced based on a Scanned Electronic Microscope image of Pleurotus Eryngii mycelium growing on a hardwood substrate. Pleurotus Eryngii belongs to the basidiomycetes has a unique structure of their mycelium called clamp connection ((L. Yang, D. Park, Z. Qin, Material Function of Mycelium-Based Bio-Composite: A Review, Frontier in Materials, 2021)). The logic behind the creation of this art piece is, through SEM, we can get infinitely closer to that tiny and fascinating world. As with the first discovery of a universe in a drop of water, there is always a romantic fantasy of what has never been seen which is to Imagine the universe not only diversification but also uniqueness. These microscopic structures, and the ideals that people seek, reflect the obscure but exact truth of nature.”