Back in the 90s, Dr. Masaru Emoto conducted experiments by exposing water samples to different spoken words. He recorded his result by taking photos of the frozen water through a microscope. Little did he anticipate that the series of photographic data would be a work of art that continues to mesmerize the world to this day.
Emoto had an interesting way of looking at the water like no others. He believed that words and intention can physically change the structure of frozen water. Each piece of his work represented an emotion. To make water of ‘gratitude’ he showered the water in words of love and affection whereas verbally abusing a sample labeled ‘you fool’. Looking at the photographs, Emoto insinuated that water exposed to words with positive meaning like ‘gratitude’, ‘love’, ‘thank you’ and ‘you are beautiful’ formed intricate and symmetrical crystals. On the other hand, negative ones like ‘you fool’, ‘I will kill you’ and ‘evil’ created misshapen forms.
“Words are the vibration of nature. Therefore, beautiful words create beautiful nature. Ugly words create ugly nature. This is the root of the universe.” – Dr. Masaru Emoto
In another experiment, Emoto played music to his water samples. He was intrigued by the idea that music had such a great impact on human emotion. His curated a playlist of mostly classical pieces by Mozart, Bach, Beethoven and Debussy with exceptions like Imagine by John Lennon and ‘Yesterday’ by The Beatles. As you might have guessed, this series of work showed imagery of beautiful water molecules with a much structural intricacy. The crystallized water structures were fascinating to look at yet mind-boggling to understand at the same time. How was such detail crafted by the intangible force of emotion?
As we journeyed through Emoto’s work through the microscopic lens, it’s hard not to be enchanted by the imagery. Though his body of work was intended to be a scientific, it was nevertheless powered by emotion and intention like art. So what would you call these images? Art or pseudoscience?
Words by Buranee Soh