16th Annual Smithsonian.com Photo Contest
I Love You More Than My Own Skin
I wanted to bring life into my work by elaborating a biological substance into my photograph. In 2017 I found a research paper that explains the process of the extraction of human melanin pigment. In 2018 I've successfully extracted human melanin pigment and embedded it on paper to produce this photograph.
Melanin is the pigment responsible for skin coloration in human. It is biologically shared and inherited by every single one of us. The color of our skin on the other hand, has been historically tied to the issues of racism, slavery, and colonization — we've become divided among ourselves by the same exact thing that connects us to one another.
I believe that by understanding the cultural and metaphorical burden of this material, we can bring ourselves closer to the questions and values that we share with each other. I want to invite people to a space where they can contemplate the complexity of human conflicts and relationships while keeping in mind that there is beauty in every single one of us. Often times, I feel that there is more wisdom and truth in the questions we ask than there is in the answers we get.
© Chris Manfield.
All rights reserved.
||Sept. 25, 2018, 2:30 a.m.