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August 23rd, 2007

Eat that, Christo

I just found out about what is possibly the coolest kind of art. I hesitate to call it “installation” art, although, I guess, technically that’s what it is.

The farmers in Inakadate, Japan have, for years, been planting their rice in such a way as to create giant murals, meant to be seen from above. The mural is usually a recreation of a piece by a Japanese master, so far as I can tell, although occaissionally they throw in some work by European folks, like DaVinci.

These giant impressive things, which can be viewed during the summer months, are created by planting different types of rice: Kodaimai, which has purple and yellow leaves, and Tsugaru-roman, the greener variety. (Close-up below.)

Would you just think about all the freaking planning that has to go into this? You have to decide which work can be done in essentially three colors. Then you have to find a guy who can actually recreate the painting. (“Dear Mr. Takahashi, We understand you are a fantastic artist. Do you suppose you could recreate one of Hokusai’s 36 Views of Mt. Fuji for our town’s annual mural? Oh, and PS. You can only use rice. Thanks!”) THEN, you have to decide where the different kinds of rice will go in the enormous field. And finally – and this is where I throw in the towel – you have to plant all the damn rice.

Anyway, it really is an impressive way to present your city’s agriculture. And so good looking! Can you imagine us Westerners trying to do something as cool with our farms? What, would we just stack cows around in a corn field to make a giant smiley face? Yes, actually. That’s probably exactly what we would do. Not because we aren’t creative, but just simply because we’ve got so much to do. I mean, Top Chef‘s not gonna watch itself.

1 comment to Eat that, Christo

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