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Illusionistic Plants

“致幻植物”指的是那些食后能使人或动物产生幻觉的植物。当人或动物吃下这类植物后,可导致神经或血液中毒。中毒后的表现多种多样:有的情绪变化无常,有的精神错乱,有的头脑中出现种种幻觉,常常把真的当成假的,把梦幻当成真实。
我在云南误食蘑菇中毒,之后所见的情景如梦幻一般。据当地人描述每个人中毒后所见的情景都不同,有的眼前会出现小人,有的人会觉得自己变成了另外一个东西,很多人中毒之后也无法忘怀经历过的这种奇幻场面。
“致幻植物”中,我认为其实致幻剂本身就是“幻觉”,当人们抓住这把毒药准备麻痹自己的时候,这个植物已经变装成妖娆的景象去诱惑我们了。人们对“幻觉”的处理方式有很多种,以至于“幻觉”这种东西根本无法分解,只能以幻除幻。当我们无法用真相传递的时候,只能再次制造幻觉去覆盖。

Hallucinogenic plants, plants containing substances that can cause hallucinations in humans and animals, have long been used by spiritual leaders and healers in cultures around the world as “god-revealing” tools.

When taken by some individuals accidentally or intentionally, they can lead to neuronal damage and blood poisoning, marked by psychiatric symptoms as diverse as they are numerous: sudden mood changes, mental confusion, delirium, and, of course, hallucinations as the name itself suggests.

Of all the hallucinogenic plants, mushrooms are probably the most common and readily available one though little was known about their bioactive compounds.

I was fortunate enough to be poisoned by mushrooms during my trip to Yunnan, a province of China known for the teeming diversity of fungi food grown and enjoyed by the local people. What I saw, after I took the mushroom without much thinking, was like a dream.

Though I can’t recount my adventures in the slumberland for unknown reasons, I heard it from the locals that everyone saw different scenes after being poisoned — some found dwarfs right in front of their eyes, others felt like they had been transformed into something else, and still others, unlike me, were able to describe what they got through vividly and couldn’t think more of the fantasies they have experienced.

The message that inspires me to create the work and that I intend to convey in the imagery may sound superfluous and baffling on the surface — the hallucinogen is nothing more than hallucination itself.

Grabbing, sniffing of, and chewing down the mushroom, one has long been well prepared to welcome a state of numbing oblivion when one isn’t even sure he or she really exists.

At this moment, the hallucinations as the realization of the potentiality of the hallucinogenic mushroom resemble seeds’ potentiality as trees, both considered identical in mind.

There are simply too many illusions in reality, even outnumbering real things. So much so that they can only be temporarily removed by human-made hallucinations. We hide the reality we cannot decipher, replacing the truth with spectacles either in our minds and in the physical landscape.

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