12 - A mushroom’s perspective on sacred geographies - With eco art historian Yu-chuan Chen.
2000-year-old cloth fragments with giant shelf mushrooms, lingzhi farms in the lands of the immortals, goddesses whose soul turns into grass and whose body turns into lingzhi, a feather woman living 170 years, pine needle diets... In this episode, I talk with eco-art historian Yu Chuan Chen about Lingzhi, Ganoderma lingzhi. Yu Chuan Chen researched the relation between mushrooms and sacred geographies and curated an exhibition at the Cantor art center at Stanford in 2017, A mushroom’s perspective on sacred geographies. What if immortals had given mushrooms and medicinal plants to mortals in order to incite them to go into the woods and the mountains to search for them? His research focuses on East Asia (Japan, Korea, China). We talk about artifacts, myths, and folktales where Linzhi and other mushrooms are associated with sacred sites or spiritual growth.
Image: Rai artist
Mask for a Guardian Spirit, 19th century
Fungus, lacquer, and nails
Iris & B. Gerald Cantor Center for Visual Arts at Stanford University; Gift of Dwight and Blossom Strong, 2001.139
Music: Paul Husky, Lucie Petrou
This podcast was made possible with the support of the Creative Work Fund in collaboration with Earth Activist Training