Museo del Hongo is the first pop-up Museum that operates at the intersection between the arts, mycology, and technology. Founded in 2016 by designer Juan Ferrer in Santiago, Chile, the Museum seeks to combine contemporary artistic practices with scientific investigation, designing immersive experiences that present a wide array of works.

Like mushrooms, the Museum can turn up anywhere to raise awareness among diverse audiences about the socioecological relevance of fungi and inspire and promote their investigation from any discipline.



Below you can read an interview with Juan and his incredible project:


Tell me about a few past exhibition you have done: 

A show that has a special piece in my heart is Vigilantes (2018), our second exhibition that happened in the Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Valdivia in Southern Chile. Fungi are enemies in everything related to conservation, so one of the first ideas we had to get people to know what our goal was with Museo del Hongo was to grow edible mushrooms inside a museum. We want to recycle the narratives around Nature and Culture in the museum space and bridge the gap between them to build a more sustainable future together. Iván Navarro was the invited artist. He designed light sculptures with anthropomorphic features that resembled scarecrows and served as guardians for the crops of 3 different species of mushrooms.


Iván Navarro, Death Row, 2006-2009, PRIMERA RETROSPECTIVA EN CHILE


Below you can see pictures of Vigilantes taken by Pascual Mena, which was done in collaboration with artist Iván Navarro:


Our latest exhibition, Holy Children, happened in Berlin in September this year. It was split into three different venues. Different Kinds of Magic; which served as an introduction to the Fungi Kingdom, From the Origins of Religion to Popular Culture; deepened in the cultural entanglements of Amanita muscaria or the Fly Agaric and Psilocybe species. Finally, Heal the Mind, Heal the World happened in a medicinal mushroom growing lab where we opened the conversation about the results of contemporary research in medical treatments with psilocybin. We showed works from 17 international artists that mixed video, biomaterials, installations, and illustrations, among others. It was our first show dedicated to magic mushrooms, and it was a wonderful experience.

Below you can find some pictures of Holy Children:


Picture by Nicolas Oyarce


Picture by Nicolas Oyarce


Picture by Nicolas Matzner


Picture by Nicolas Matzner


Picture by Claudia Müller Montes


What is GIRA and tell me about the design of your website? 

Our website is a virtual space that functions as an archive, and since we don’t have a physical space, it also serves as our online venue. To make the website more immersive and playful, we decided to create this microscopic world to navigate between the diverse contents that we produce. Every spore there holds news, information regarding the educational program, our past exhibitions, and artworks, among other things.

GIRA was our second online exhibition and was developed during the pandemic. It is a fantastical forest with 4 “rooms,” where every interactive element you see there contains different works from our collection. GIRA was the first time we approached the Chilean deaf community, making the website fully accessible to them. We hope to keep adding pieces to that website in the future.

(Check out the website here)


What have you planned for the future? 

We have three upcoming shows by the end of November. In Santiago, Chile: A Fungus Garden at Museo de Arte Contemporáneo Parque Forestal, we created a new version of the online show for Ars Electronica in 2020. Then Ruta del Hongo, at a plant nursery at the top of one of the mountains surrounding Santiago, Cerro San Cristóbal. The third exhibition is in Bilbao, Spain, and is part of Ciencia Fricción. It was a traveling exhibition that happened last year at CCCB. We showed Les Micobiontes, an installation with our collection of posters, ceramics with shapes of lichens, a selection of mycorrhizal Fungi, microscopic pictures of mycorrhiza, and a mycorrhizal digital collage.

Moreover, we are looking to broaden our range of activities by developing an in-school education program for students aged 10-12. Children will learn about the Fungi Kingdom by using the collection’s works of art as they create and develop their artistic works. The program culminates with an exhibition guided by the students, a concrete event in which art and mycology converge.

We have already been in 3 schools, and I am happy to share that the children’s reactions have been incredibly positive. It makes us enjoy even more what we do and feel that this kind of science communication is the way to go.





If you could choose to exist as one plant, what would it be? 

I would choose a Dracaena Marginata. I identify with this plant because, like it, I love being at home and am very low maintenance. And it´s beautiful!