Ping Qiu (China/Swiss)

»Mushroom Bench - Roots are branches?«







The ecological cycle in the forest has inspired me to develop an idea for a bamboo-based piece of art. I chose a tall and thick tree in Lushan and built an inverted round fungal cap made of bamboo around the stem. The mushroom is on its head, the stem points upwards.

This confusion between branches and roots is visible.
The tree stem = mushroom stem
The branches = fungal »roots« (mycelium)
The cap also serves as a seat.
The roots, stems, branches and leaves are part of the tree.

The leaves fall to the ground where they decompose and provide the roots with new nutrients. The roots absorb these decomposed remains, providing the necessary nutrients for next year’s leaves. The mushrooms are part of the biological cycle. They thrive on the organic remains of the leaves, branches and trees, releasing minerals, which are subsequently taken up by the trees.

Each tree is unique. Each tree has its own identity.
The shape of the mushroom reflects the individual character of the tree.


Ping Qiu born 1961 in Wuhan, China.
Lives for 20 years in Berlin, Germany. Education at the Art Academy of Hangzhou (China) and at the Hochschule der Künste (HdK) in Berlin. Numerous scholarships (selected): Pollock-Krasner Foundation in New York, Pro Helvetia, Swiss Cultural Foundation and 2008 »Artists in lab« scholarship (Switzerland).
Exhibitions (selection): 1998 »Die Hälfte des Himmels«, Womens Museum Bonn, Germany (as Curator), 1999 »Open« Venice, Italy, 2000 »Heimat - Kunst der Kulturen der Welt«, Berlin and »Continental Shift« Musée d` Art Moderne, Liège, Belgien, 2002 »Bodies of Substance« Talbot Rice Gallery, Edinburgh, UK and »Artcanal«, Switzerland, 2003 Havanna Biennial, Cuba, 2008 »Tier + Mensch« Germanisches Nationalmuseum Nürnberg and »Birthrites«, Science Centre Glasgow, Manchester Museum UK, 2009 Blackburn Museum & Art Gallery, UK and »Museums für Zeitgenössische Kunst« MoCA Skopje.
Large scale Landart project: 2006-09 »The Passages of Europe«, Pasewalk.
Her special materials in art works are plastic gloves and water.