Cape Town - If you believe beauty is only skin deep, the Body Worlds Vital exhibition at the V&A Waterfront may prove you wrong.
Dr Gunther von Hagen’s ground-breaking preservation process of the human body is back on display in Cape Town, offering people a fascinating look inside the human body.
Originally aimed at academics in the medical field in 1993, the exhibition has garnered massive public acclaim.
The exhibition is divided into sections of the human anatomy and its systems, including the locomotive (musculo-skeletal), digestive and circulatory systems.
Previous exhibitions focused on the body as a whole and, in 2012, the exhibition was about the cycle of life. This year, the focus in on vitality.
Angelina Whalley, the curator of Body Worlds, said: “On one hand we show what the body is made of, certainly what makes the body ill and explain how you may prevent it from getting ill. These are our three major calls. Humans cannot appreciate things they don’t know. But one can learn what interesting structure they have inside themselves.
“We have posed our specimens in very life-like positions because our exhibition is not about the death. It’s about the living and visitors are studying these figures. All of a sudden they relate to themselves. In other words, they identify and as a visitor you are alive and you are not dead. It is essential to have humans in life-like and beautiful poses that you can easily relate to yourself.
“The exhibition is about awareness about HIV which is such a big problem in Africa and also in South Africa.
“The exhibit helps to explain what it is and that an infected person may not be a big problem. You can hug that person because they won’t infect you. There is a lot of misconception in society when they hear someone is afflicted by Aids.
A visitor to the exhibition, Emma Campbell, 17, from Muizenberg said: “I think it’s extremely interesting and valuable especially if you do biology because a lot of the things you learn in Grade 11, you can notice them in all the exhibitions. It’s worthwhile.”
Muzamiel Mugjenker, 12, from Athlone said: “It’s nice to learn how the body works. I think that putting the healthy organs next to the unhealthy ones is kind of gross. It looks weird and makes me want to take care of my body more.”
Josh Isaacs, 30, from Green Point said: “It’s very cool. You read and learn about things that took time to research.
“I think it definitely promotes that you must look after yourself if you have heart disease, Alzheimer’s - definitely awareness for health.
“It’s interesting to see the difference. You don’t get to see the inside of yourself or organs or anything like that. So it’s interesting to see what a healthy lung looks like compared to a sick one.”
* The exhibition is on at the Watershed, V&A Waterfront, from until October 23. It’s open from 10am to 7pm, seven days a week. Tickets are R120 for adults and R100 for children. Kids under 6 get in for free.