Minn Yoon has been collaborating directly with patients, artists, researchers and medical professionals, to develop art works that effectively raise awareness of the often-hidden experiences of head and neck cancer patients.
“Cases are on the rise for head and neck cancer, which is also one of the most devastating kinds of cancer you can get,” said Minn Yoon. “There’s not enough research being done into how this very invasive cancer impacts patients. I wanted to find a way to share patient experiences in a way that was visceral and visual art was the natural fit.”
For participant Kimberley Flowers, recovering from tongue cancer, the experience of working with the group of visual artists of the see me, hear me, heal me team to illustrate the effects of her illness was an unexpected gift. “The art helped me understand experiences I felt that there simply aren’t words for,” she said.
The ongoing research project, see me, hear me, heal me, has featured analysis of patient narratives, interactive workshops and studio visits, as well as public presentations at local and international conferences.
Working closely with Pamela Brett-McLean, director of the Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry’s Arts & Humanities in Health and Medicine (AHHM) program, Yoon was able to bring an exhibition FLUX: Responding to Head and Neck Cancer to an Edmonton contemporary art gallery (dc3 Art Projects) and a hospital-based gallery (McMullen Gallery) to much critical acclaim.
This summer, FLUX was showcased at Chicago’s International Museum of Surgical Science.