Emily Lin: Consumption

Emily Lin is a first-year student at WashU, majoring in Marketing at the Olin Business School and minoring in Design at the Sam Fox School of Design and Visual Arts. Emily is passionate about all things art/design, she is a budding ceramics artist, having won numerous Gold Keys from the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards. Having spent 8 years living in Asia, she enjoys crafting art pieces that draw inspiration from her surroundings and travel. outside of art, Emily is an avid Pokémon GO player in her local community.


“Consumption” is a visual representation of the effects of climate change on the coral reef ecosystem. This piece showcases the phenomenon known as coral bleaching, which occurs when rising ocean temperatures cause the coral to expel the algae that lives inside its tissues, resulting in a fragile, bleached appearance. By only glazing select areas of the piece and using watercolors post-firing to tint the bare clay, I created a defined “border” where the live and dead coral meet. If the algae loss continues to occur for an extended period of time, the coral will eventually die, resulting in the eventual destruction of the entire ecosystem. Through the harsh contrasting visuals and jarring sight of a fish stripped down to its bones, I urge my viewers to acknowledge the urgency of the climate crisis and take action before the damage becomes irreparable.