This paper focuses on artist Xiaojing Yan’s own artistic practice. She cultivates a series of evocative sculptural works out of lingzhi fungus by designing a controlled, human environment that, over time, gives way to an organic process. This hybrid bio-art experimentation relies as much on science as it does on fate. Lingzhi holds cultural significance in Chinese culture and is called the mushroom of immortality. Yan’s works juxtapose Eastern mythology with contemporary culture to highlight environmental and social issues; her investigations with lingzhi mushrooms delve into the meaning of spirituality and metamorphoses and explore questions about being and becoming, art and nature, art and science, nature and existence.
I am … a mushroom
On whom the dew of heaven drops now and then.
- John Ford, The Broken Heart (1633)