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Mystery of the Human Body exhibition in HCMC sparks controversies

Last update: 17:00 | 05/07/2018

Head of the Department of Fine Arts, Photography and Exhibition Vi Kien Thanh has just asked the Ho Chi Minh City's Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism to report on the controversial Mystery of the Human Body exhibition.

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An specimen on display at the exhibition




The exhibition which is co-organised by Mega Vina and the Ho Chi Minh City Youth Cultural House from June 21 to December 31 introduces 137 real human body specimens, including 11 whole-body specimens and 126 individual organs asphalted by plastics under advanced technology in human body preservation.

According to the organiser, the main goal of the exhibition is to educate the public on the inner workings of the human body and the importance of healthy lifestyles by showing the effects of healthy and unhealthy living.

Mega Vina will also introduce a vast number of advanced technologies, like augmented reality and 3D mapping. With help from these technologies, participants will be able to interact with real human bodies. 

“Our mission is to bring the highest values in culture and science to Vietnamese people,” said Chung Won Ho, Project Director of the Mystery of the Human Body exhibition. “As in South Korea and many other countries, we hope that Vietnamese people will take on a healthy lifestyle for themselves and the community after visiting the exhibition. They will also better understand the structure and biological activity of the human body and see the harmful effects of bad habits. The exhibition will also motivate people to learn more about life sciences.”

However, Chairman of Vietnam Fine Arts Association, artist Tran Khanh Chuong criticised the exhibition, saying it is offensive and bears no educational meanings.

Head of the Department of Fine Arts, Photography and Exhibition Vi Kien Thanh also expressed concerns that the "horrific" exhibits here may make the visitors frightened.

Former deputy head of the Department of Children Protection, Nguyen Trong An complained about the use of donated bodies and organs for exhibiting.

"This is a kind of business which was covered under an event for art or scientific purposes," An said.

An talked of the organiser's promise to contribute one per cent of revenue from ticket sales to the Operation Smile Organisation to provides free surgery to children with hare-lips and cleft palates as a PR trick.

"These charitable tricks are usually offered by polluting industries," An said.

An also argued that no husband would donate the bodies of his wife and unborn child for scientific purposes and no parents would agree to give the body of their newborn child for exhibition.

Meanwhile, a representative from the Ho Chi Minh City's Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism told local media that the exhibition was licensed and said it helped warn the audience of various problems.

The report should be sent to the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism no later than July 10.

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