Yilan Lichen Project

The Yilan Lichen Project, completed in 2012, represents a survey of lichens found and photographed in and around the cities of Taipei and Yilan, including the beautiful, mountainous Ming-chih Forest Preserve.

Since lichens take their nourishment from air and water, rather than from a host plant or structure, they are recognized by scientists as very reliable bio-indicators. The research undertaken in Taiwan presented an opportunity to gauge the effects of development on environmental conditions in the surrounding region based on the existence and health of various lichens species.

The resulting permanent public art installation offers visitors to the Bioresources Building of the National Yilan University an opportunity to view over 50 enlarged and LED illuminated lichen images  – each measuring appx. 30” x 50”, suspended from the ceilings in cell-like formations – and to appreciate their remarkable beauty and their role in understanding our changing natural environment.

Marble benches, hand-carved from native stone and reminiscent of the amoeba-like forms of the suspended lichen modules, accompany the illuminated images, inside as well as outdoors in the newly designed garden spaces adjacent to the Bioresources Building.