cultivated lingzhi mushrooms and wood chips
This series of female busts is an extension of Yan’s interest in the attributes of and meanings associated with the lingzhi mushroom. Yan has experimented to produce sculptures that integrate the natural growth cycle of this mushroom and highlight its amazing properties, such as adaptation, self-organization, self-healing, and regeneration. While evoking traditional Chinese medicine, mythology and religion, the lingzhi mushroom, as an innovative green material, also speaks to the role of environmental sustainability in contemporary art production. Furthermore, Yan employs the repetition of the eight heads to refer simultaneously to the eight immortals of Chinese legend as well as to contemporary China’s dependence on mass production.