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Linge Li - How I do my work_new.jpg
How I do my work 
Theme
Plants
Type 
Digital drawing 
Year
2019-2020 
Inspiration and composition

 

In ‘How I do my work’, Linge gives us an artful insight into her daily work. Her artwork is a combination of handmade drawing and digital drawing, some based on photographs that she took. ‘How I do my work’ shows the different stages of tomato growth and the ways Linge intervenes for her research. 

Linge’s research is a great representation of how varying the scales of magnitude within one project can be. Tomato seeds are planted and after a short while Linge splits them up. Some go in a spot with lots of sun and some go in the shade. This results in some plants growing higher than others. The process then shifts to a microscopic level, as Linge makes very fine sections (slices) of different parts of the 

plant and observes them under a microscope. 

By looking at how the cellular architecture of the different plant groups have changed, Linge tries to make predictions about which genes

have been involved in her plants’ shade avoidance response. She will then plant new tomato plants with mutations in those specific genes, and the cycle starts over again. Her aim is to identify the genes that can be manipulated to produce more competitive tomato varieties. 

In ‘How I do my work’ Linge emphasizes the circular nature of her research process. These cycles bring in mind the many beautiful artworks in which the various rounds of trial and error are hidden, before the desired result was achieved. 

“I find that the beauty of the tomato is not only in it being a model, but it’s also very well structured. Compared to Arabidopsis plants, the tomato plant shows strong effects on the phenotype. Depending on the treatment you can see changes in the color, the leaf shape – especially the changes in the fruit it produces are striking.” 

The artist

About Linge Li 

Linge’s research addresses the issue that tomato plants struggle to compete with their neighbors in order to get sufficient light to grow. To be able to get enough light, they need to grow higher. This adaptation is called ‘shade avoidance response’. Linge looks for genetic ways to push tomato plants to be more efficient in this response. Basically, why they grow taller in shade. 

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