Waltraud Munz (Germany)
»Areas of Happiness«
This work is an installation with about 15 metallic mushrooms in a Japanese cedar forest. It is based on the 4.000-years-old tradition of Chinese medicine in the field of medical fungi. This includes for example Ling Zhi, symbolically translated as mushroom of immortality, which is shown on many Chinese drawings, porcelains and carpets as a symbol of a long and happy life. Also there is the category of Trametes Versicolor. Their surface resembles a relief painting from geological contour lines. The compressed horizontal arrangement of such tree fungi formations are reminiscent of contemporary architecture. Both phenomena are picked up and developed in this art objects on several tree trunks in different altitudes. The combination of the stair-like structure and the healing power of this fungal species is recognized as a metaphor for the »areas of happiness«. Also the location of the installation on the steep slopes of Mt Lushan with its many temples fits this idea. The expression of joy is reflected in the strong bright and glossy colors. The mycelia of mushrooms is also a synonymous of current global networking.
Waltraud Munz, born in South Germany in 1949, is an artist. She studied art at several Universities like Freie Kunstschule Stuttgart, Academy of Fine Art Karlsruhe and finished her studies at the University of Visual Arts in Frankfurt am Main, called Städelschule. She lives near by Frankfurt /Main.
She has exhibited her work internationally in galleries and museums, including China, Norway, Egypt, Poland, Slovenia, USA and the Czech Republic. She has been the recipient of numerous awards, grants and scholarships and had also several lectureships. Besides painting and sculptural objects, she works since 1998 also in site-specific installations in the large internal and exterior space. Recently she was invited in 2009 by Ute Ritschel to the Vogelfrei-Biennial Darmstadt, where she completed her 500 m² large walk-in installation »Hybride Stadtblüten« at the roof of the darmstadtium.
She also created land-art projects with grass and other ephemeral materials. All her works are based on the relationship between science and art, especially cartography and art. She also is inspired by biological phenomena and their implementation in a new artistic and philosophical language, which premise is awareness and transformation. www.waltraudmunz.de