Graphic images are printed on plant leaves using photosynthesis. Yoko Shimizu - Lab +1e Tokyo 光合成により植物の葉にグラフィック印刷を行う実験インスタレーション。清水陽子 - Lab +1e Tokyo
art, science, bio, biology, biochemistry, bio tech, bio art, yoko shimizu, living, typography, bioart, photosynthesis, photosynthegraph, biodiversity, photography, photograph, plants, leaf, Lab +1e, 清水陽子, バイオアート, アート, 科学, 光合成印刷, 光合成, フォトシンセグラフ, 植物, 印刷, 生きる, タイポグラフィ, 写真
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About This Project


In this installation series, we are exploring the mechanism of photosynthesis by controlling the activities of the chloroplasts to print graphic images on plants.




Yoko Shimizu 清水陽子


Photosynthesis is one of the most important chemical reactions in the history of our planet. It is the source of our oxygen and energy, and the foundation of our food chain. Humans have utilized photosynthesis for food and industrial purposed. This time, we look deeper into how it can be used in art and design.




Yoko Shimizu 清水陽子


In the Photosynthegraph installation, a botanical lab is installed in the exhibition space. Graphic print films are attached onto plant leaves allowing chloroplasts to create starch based on the graphic patterns.




Yoko Shimizu 清水陽子


The leaves are then treated chemically to visualize the graphics created by the chloroplasts. The completed images are delicate and beautiful, with a natural vintage feel – reminiscent of the history of life on Earth.




Yoko Shimizu 清水陽子


The red LED lighting is adjusted to the wavelengths that are optimal for the photosynthesis process, often used in plant factories. This allows fast, stable, and precise creation of prints.




Yoko Shimizu Ars Electronica


In the artist performance, the entire development process is demonstrated – from photosynthesis to chemical and heating treatments. It is fascinating to observe the way the graphic images slowly appear on the leaves.




Yoko Shimizu 清水陽子

The images created by the natural process show us that there are still infinite possibilities of  artistic expression on this planet.




Yoko Shimizu 清水陽子


Vermeer’s Girl with a Pearl Earring printed on a leaf with photosynthesis.


Yoko Shimizu 清水陽子


Printing process for Girl with a Pearl Earring
「真珠の耳飾りの少女」 製作工程


Yoko Shimizu 清水陽子


Ingres’ Grande Odalisque printed on a leaf with photosynthesis.


Yoko Shimizu 清水陽子


My Brooklyn studio – NY cupcakes


Yoko Shimizu 清水陽子


My Brooklyn studio – NY coffee

Yoko Shimizu 清水陽子

Development steps

Yoko Shimizu 清水陽子

Photosynthegraph at Ars Electronica

Yoko Shimizu Ars ElectronicaYoko Shimizu 清水陽子Yoko Shimizu Ars ElectronicaYoko Shimizu Ars Electronica



フォトシンセグラフ - 光合成印刷


Film, plants, H2O, CO2, iodine solution, ethanol, plant factory LED (sunlight).


“Photosynthegraph” is an experimental installation that explores the mechanism of photosynthesis. Graphic print films are attached onto plant leaves allowing chloroplasts to create starch based on the graphic patterns. The leaves are then chemically treated to visualize the graphics created through photosynthesis.
ギャラリー内に設置された植物ラボ。印刷用フィルムを取り付けて育成される植物たち。日光や植物工場用LEDの照射により、葉緑体はグラフィックパターン に沿って光合成を行います。生命活動によって作られるその図形は儚く神秘的で、地球上にはまだ新しい表現の可能性が無限に存在することに気づかされます。

Art, Biology, Chemistry