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Discovery & Development Packaging, Drug Delivery, Dosage Forms

The Art of Science

We love art at The Medicine Maker and at the recent Pharmapack trade show in Paris, France, an art gallery called “The Art of Sharp” caught our attention. The gallery was developed by Terumo Pharmaceutical Solutions, a global medical technology company, and was accompanied by an audio tour.

“For the past six months, we have been analyzing our live marketing and we felt that it was time to look at the substantial investment in exhibitions against the results we had at the end of each show. It was time to make a change, so we went back to what makes us different,” explains Ireen Stanford, global marketing communications manager at Terumo Pharmaceutical Solutions.

The Art of Our Sister Publications

If you are familiar with our sister publications, you may be aware that they publish an annual art feature that showcases the artistic side of science.

The Analytical Scientist

The Ophthalmologist

The Pathologist

The Translational Scientist

Ultimately, the company decided to create an art gallery. “It was a very different approach for Terumo because it was a complete change of direction and it took us out of our comfort zone,” Stanford admits. “Our biggest challenge was aligning our internal stakeholders; we had to get them on board with our vision and give them the confidence that this was a risk worth taking.”

The artwork created was linked to Terumo’s products, and aimed to reflect the company’s story, Japanese heritage, innovative work and values. Five artists were involved:

Richard Lucas is a conceptual artist whose work parodies existing art, incorporating ready-made manufactured elements to build upon the original creation for a different purpose. In the Rodin inspired piece “Sharp Thinking”, a team of sharp thinkers revolve beneath their symbolic director, each dedicated to a different solution.

Anthony Moman’s art, influenced by recurring themes of commercialism, sit incongruously with his insatiable quest for spiritual enlightenment and cultural nourishment. In “Love is the Drug”, he creates a dissonance between the sharpness of the precision needles and the symbolic warmth of the heart. He will be exhibiting at the 57th Venice Biennale.

Marthe van Herk creates handmade paper cuts, mostly inspired by nature. Her work is intricate, delicate, and usually made out of white paper and draws on the centuries-old Japanese skill of Kirigami. Marthe created two pieces for Terumo: the traditional Japanese “Coy Carp” in Terumo’s corporate red (reminiscent of the company’s Japanese heritage) and a “Hand in Hand” image to echo the company’s philosophy of partnership and mutual trust. 

Robert Zimmermann works between art, science and technology. He is a kinetic installation artist who creates intriguing machines that confound the viewer. His piece for Terumo used ferrous liquid and pulsed electromagnets to create dynamic art.

A musician, Matt Hartnell, composed a piece using the sampled sound of a traditional Japanese Koto combined with a highly focused, directional carrier wave.

“All five artists were all very excited to do this project, as it was something very new for them, with the exception of Anthony Moman – who has already produced works of art using syringes and needles,” says Stanford.

Overall, the risk appears to have paid off. Stanford adds, “We had a very busy stand and a very positive reaction from the audience; they appreciated the entertainment and education that they got with the audio tour,” says Stanford. “It was something different, which broke through the normal exhibition process and gave them a new and memorable experience. Many people returned several times!”

Terumo Pharmaceutical Solutions says that this is an ongoing story that they hope to keep improving.

If your company has ever combined art and pharmaceuticals we’d love to hear from you: [email protected].


Images: Copyright, Terumo

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About the Author
Stephanie Vine

Making great scientific magazines isn’t just about delivering knowledge and high quality content; it’s also about packaging these in the right words to ensure that someone is truly inspired by a topic. My passion is ensuring that our authors’ expertise is presented as a seamless and enjoyable reading experience, whether in print, in digital or on social media. I’ve spent fourteen years writing and editing features for scientific and manufacturing publications, and in making this content engaging and accessible without sacrificing its scientific integrity. There is nothing better than a magazine with great content that feels great to read.

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