The US-CHINA Cultural Exchange Group conducted a Survey for the exhibition on
The Universe Within in San Francisco

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is an exhibition which transmits knowledge about the human organism in a manner which is visual, vivid and exciting. The centerpiece of the exhibit are plastinated human bodies.

The goal is to stimulate interest in - and create a new awareness of - the wonder that is the human body.

THE UNIVERSE WITHIN - it is the setting for all of our experiences, the vessel which carries our most intimate thoughts and feelings. With it's help we exist, encounter other human beings, form the world: it gives us pleasure and pain. We are more at one with it than anything else in this world - and yet, we are not in the least aware of what a fascinating construction it really is.

Day after day we accomplish a myriad of tasks, without interruption, one decade after the next. Every second it responds to new situations, every second muscles are at work, nerves and organs are in perfect coordination. Our body is a masterpiece of creation, efficient in form and function, ideally suited to our environment, developed over millions of years and ingenious in the solutions it has developed to different problems - a truly "intelligent product". Nature has hidden most of this from our view - the exhibit lays it out in the open.

THE UNIVERSE WITHIN literally as well as figuratively goes "under the skin". It exposes the human body to view, lays bare the structure of the organism and thereby allows the visitor an intensive encounter with his or her inner reality. They see what normally only doctors and scientists are allowed access to - and this experience is a once in a lifetime because it is absolutely authentic.

The plastinated bodies show both the entire figure as well as specific regions, single organs, details and cross sections. In this manner, the construction, form and function of our organism are revealed.

The exhibit's unique draw lies in the direct confrontation with the body and it's parts. The visitor, torn between fascination and unease, discovers the wonderful universe within himself. He realizes, face to face: this is me!

In this manner the discovery of newfound knowledge becomes an unforgettable experience. The visitor sees with his own eyes what laws of nature rule our bodies and the effects they have, what possibilities nature has laid within him and what limits it has imposed on him. He realizes that there is a reason for everything and that each part fulfills a purpose - and that our organism true beauty lies in this finely tuned perfection.

This experience endows the visitor with a deeper understanding for his own body and - in the end - a more conscious life with and in it.

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