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The image shows a cubical shopping area, illuminated by neon red lighting. White flooring and walls serve as a backdrop for display cases made out of wood, glass and acrylic. The floating shelving units, paired with transparent containers and circular windows, give the space a more contemporary finish. With the exception of the display pedastal placed in the center, wide walkways divide the mounted displays and create an open layout.  The vision for this space is rooted in a desire to downplay the grotesque–the reality that what‘s being displayed are organs and tissues extracted from living people. Their fleshy textures appear in stark contrast to the uncluttereddisplays. Bright, red letters accomany each product. The signages are reminiscent of those found in common retain chains, though what they relay is something completely out of the ordinary.

Commodified Bodies

Penny Lam

Sculpture (Acrylic, plywood, silicone, steel, wax) & digital design, 2022

Commodified Bodies presents a world where the body becomes a central site of transaction at the height of Western capitalism and health care privatization. In this speculative future, organs and tissues of desperate vendors are priced based on each person’s body profile, through an online trading system. The purchased body parts are thereupon procured to be sold at retail stores with an elevated shopping experience, tailored to appeal to the members of the upper class. Through these visual imaginations brought to life by sculpture and digital design, my work queries how broader questions of power, ethics and personhood intertwine within the production of the body as an object of economic desire—bartered, displayed and visualized in alienable parts. It invites viewers to consider the realities of class hierarchies inherent in commodifying bodies.