The photo exhibition “Fascination of Science” launched at OIST

From January 30 to February 29, 2024, an exhibition combining science and art is being held at the OIST Tunnel Gallery

Photo Exhibition Fascination of Science

At the Tunnel Gallery near the main entrance of OIST, a photo exhibition titled “Fascination of Science” is being held, co-hosted by OIST, the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) and the German Center for Research and Innovation in Tokyo (DWIH). 

The series of portraits of Nobel laureates and leading scientists from around the world by renowned German photographer Herlinde Koelbl began in Germany in 2020 and has since traveled around the world. In Japan, the series has been exhibited in Tokyo and Kyoto. 

The 41 scientists in the portraits include Nobel Laureates Shinya Yamanaka, Frances Arnold, and Carolyn Bertozzi, as well as names from a variety of scientific fields ranging from astronomy, biochemistry, and quantum physics to stem cell research and AI. Dr. Svante Pääbo, professor at OIST and winner of the 2022 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, is also one of them. 

Portraits from the exhibition of Herlinde Koelbl

On January 30, an opening ceremony was held at OIST. Mr. Axel Karpenstein, Director of the Tokyo Office of the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) and the German Center for Research and Innovation in Tokyo (DWIH), said that “‘A picture is worth a thousand words,’ a sentiment that aptly describes the incredible work of photographer Herlinde Koelbl. Her photographs brilliantly encapsulate the intricate and profound research of renowned international Nobel Prize laureates through the simplicity and power of individual portraits.” 

Herlinde Koelbl interviewed the scientists prior to taking their photos. Prof. Till Weber, Honorary Consul of the Federal Republic of Germany in Okinawa, explained how “Each scientist has a seemingly mysterious message written on the palm of their hand. The conversation between Ms. Koelbl and each scientist has been published in German and English and is now available to read in the OIST Tunnel Gallery, so please take a look. You can also read a short commentary on each piece via the QR code shown in the caption.” 

Dr. Karin Markides, OIST President and CEO, said that “This exhibition at OIST demonstrate the very spirit of creativity as it combines science and art. And I am thrilled that ‘Fascination of Science’ celebrates some of today's most prominent scientists and thinkers.” 
Mr. Karpenstein concluded that “I am confident that this exhibition will continue to inspire, educate, and ignite a passion for science in all who visit. It is a testament to the power of art in conveying complex ideas and the universal language of science that unites us.” 

The exhibition will be displayed through February 29. No registration required, admission is free. Please feel free to visit the OIST campus on this occasion. We also welcome your messages in the corner where you can write your messages. 

Your messages

You can see more photos of the opening ceremony of the exhibition from here: OIST Flickr Album 

OIST x DWIH Tokyo Academic Exchange Photo Exhibition: Fascination of Science by Herlinde Koelbl  

  • Dates: Tuesday, January 30, 2024 - Thursday, February 29, 2024  
  • Venue: Tunnel Gallery, Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology (OIST)  
  • Opening hours: 9:00-17:00 Monday-Sunday (including national holidays)  
  • Admission free  
  • Flyer (PDF flyer

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