Human beings are the only creatures on Earth who wear clothes and decorate their skin and hair with creams, oils and lotions. We use cosmetic products everyday and sometimes even body implants for cosmetic surgery, while maybe or maybe not knowing that many of the ingredients used in our cosmetics come from animals, insects and even the human body. Is it really necessary to use previously living ingredients for cosmetic purposes?


The brands who run this industry don’t mention that their products include animal ingredients or by-products; positioning this beauty market a long ways away from solving the mystery of what is really in these products and where they actually came from. Why have we never noticed or thought about the provenance of our cosmetics? Is it because it isn't as obvious as it is with the food that we eat? For example, the package designs of cosmetic products don't display the right information, so how can we easily understand this issue?


Today's cosmetic consumers aren't exposed to the information that can change their opinion and behaviour, so questions for tomorrow aren't being asked, although today's technology is bridging this gap of misinformation between producer and consumer. It is now that a new wave of technological applications are being built that will soon allow us to explore the real truths about our products' history, so that in 100 years it would seem that we were living in an absurd world.


In the 'cosmetics room' of the 'future history museum', Bora Hong's work is displayed: “The Food For Our Face and Skin”. The work shows a human doll that fictionally explains in a visual way where cosmetic products originated from back in 2016.This human sized doll is an illustrated map of the human body, to be used by the audience as an educational tool to further understand what veganism means in terms of our beauty culture. With this work, Bora illustrates animal usage in all kinds of different images that are directly translated to the doll's skin; showing how the cosmetic industry of the time didn’t pay much attention to where they retrieved their raw materials from and how they impacted the rest of the world's present and future.


Text by Bora Hong & Ofer Kantor