A digital archive of Asian/Asian American contemporary art history

Chemical Balance III

prescription bottles, mirror and epoxy, fluorescent lights

"5 units, from 18 to 40 inches in diameter
Overall dimensions variable
Installation at Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, D.C.

Chemical Balance II, 2005
Prescription bottles, mirror and epoxy
7 units, from 18 to 38 inches in diameter
Commissioned by University Art Museum, Albany, NY

To create this work, thousands of empty prescription pill bottles were collected from nursing homes, pharmacies and individuals’ medicine cabinets. Like stalactites and stalagmites, the constructions hang down from above and grow upwards from the floor below. Chemical Balance speaks to our culture’s over-consumption of prescription drugs and our bodies’ dependency on these medications. The piece acts like a group portrait, mapping our society’s chemical intake. The illuminated structures radiate with an intense orange glow, suggesting that issues of health reach far beyond the physical."

-- Artist's website

Chemical Balance III
Chemical Balance II (detail)
Source: Digital Image
Chemical Balance III Chemical Balance II (detail)