Super-Sized Rice Straw Sculptures As Part Of Japan’s 10th Annual Wara Art Festival
Yes, rice straw sculptures are a thing. As part of Japan’s annual Wara art festival, farmers from the coastal region of Niigata Prefecture make sure that leftover rice straw doesn’t go to waste by giving it away in order to make these amazing super-sized rice straw sculptures. This leftover rice-straw is known as wara, thus the name of the festival, and it’s usually used by farmers to feed livestock or to fertilize the soil with it. In this case, some of it is used here in the festival.
The Wara Art Festival is held at Uwasekigata Park, in the Niigata Prefecture and has been a thing since 2008, when the farming community there contracted the local Musashino Art University in order to come up with an ingenious and creative way to do something with the leftover straw. Since then, the art students have been trying their best to design and create some truly amazing rice straw sculptures.
And since this is the festival’s 10 year anniversary, they’ve decided to go even a step further by making their sculptures super-sized. They are so large, in fact, that they now need wooden frames to keep them in their respective upright position. Among the many statues, we have a fierce lion, huge gorillas, crocodiles, and rhinoceroses.
The Wara Art Festival is now over, but the statues will, nevertheless, remain in place up until the end of October this year, when they will be dismantled and the rice straw will be recycled – either as animal feed or as soil fertiliser.
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