Long Pan’s research trip “Matsutake Rain”

“Spores are as tiny as dust, almost unnoticeable, but they are all around us, literally linked to the ecological network we live on. In the summer of 2022, mushrooms, as mycelial reproductive organisms, are “castrated” by heat waves and hunters before they reach maturity. The absence of spores and rain in the forest makes the spores a small note of this summer’s climate anomaly. So “Matsutake Rain” is a project that examines the ecological and trade networks built on the mushroom from the perspective of a spore, and issues a warning message from the spore in the context of the climate crisis.

The project is based on research on the growth and trade of matsutake mushrooms in Yunnan, including participation in the annual Matsutake Festival in Shangri-La; documentation and harvesting in the mountains and forests; interviews with traders at the Matsutake mushroom buying market in Gezan Township; the Matsutake market in Shangri-La and the Shuimuhua wild mushroom market in Kunming, Yunnan ……. In addition, I photographed the matsutake spore spraying in the woods of Shangri-La. The spores fell like a shower of rain, and I will tell the story of the summer of this year in this spore rain.”

– Long Pan