Tag Archives: art

Painting in Rice Fields – Creativity at its Best

The creativity of humans is unbelievable.

Stunning crop art has sprung up across rice fields in Japan . But this is no alien creation the designs have been cleverly planned and planted.
Farmers creating the huge displays use no ink or dye. Instead, different colours of rice plants have been precisely and strategically arranged and grown in the paddy fields.

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As summer progresses and the plants shoot up, the detailed artwork begins to emerge.

A Sengoku warrior on horseback has been created from hundreds of thousands of rice plants, the colours created by using different varieties, in Inakadate in Japan

The largest and finest work is grown in the Aomori village of Inakadate , 600 miles north of Toyko, where the tradition began in 1993.

The village has now earned a reputation for its agricultural artistry and this year the enormous pictures of Napoleon and a Sengoku-period warrior, both on horseback, are visible in a pair of fields adjacent to the town hall.

More than 150,000 vistors come to Inakadate, where just 8,700 people live, every summer to see the extraordinary images.

Each year hundreds of volunteers and villagers plant four different varieties of rice in late May across huge swathes of paddy fields.

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Napoleon on horseback can be seen from the skies, created by precision planting and months of planning among villagers and farmers in Inkadate.

Fictional warrior Naoe Kanetsugu and his wife Osen appear in fields near the town of Yonezawa , Japan .

And in recent years, other villages have joined in with the plant designs.

Another famous rice paddy art venue is near the town of Yonezawa in the Yamagata prefecture.

This year’s design shows the fictional 16th-century samurai warrior Naoe Kanetsugu and his wife, Osen, whose lives feature in the television series Tenchijin.

Various artworks have popped up in other rice-farming areas of Japan this year, including designs of deer dancers.

Smaller works of crop art can be seen in other rice-farming areas of Japan , such as this image of Doraemon and deer dancers.

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The farmers create the murals by planting little purple and yellow-leafed kodaimai rice along with their local green-leafed tsugaru roman variety, to create the coloured patterns between planting and harvesting in September.

The murals in Inakadate cover 15,000 square metres of paddy fields. From ground level, the designs are invisible, and viewers have to climb the mock castle tower of the village office to get a glimpse of the work.

Rice-paddy art began there in 1993 as a local revitalization project, an idea that grew out of meetings held by the village committee. Closer to the image, the careful placing of thousands of rice plants can be seen in the paddy fields.

The different varieties of rice plants grow alongside one another to create the masterpieces.

In the first nine years, the village office workers and local farmers grew a simple design of Mount Iwaki every year.

But their ideas grew more complicated and attracted greater attention. In 2005 agreements between landowners allowed the creation of enormous works of rice paddy art.

A year later, organisers used computers to plot the precise planting of the four differently coloured rice varieties that bring the images to life.

Art Masterpieces in Vegetables

Chinese artist Ju Duoqi puts a whole new meaning to ‘playing with your food,’ transforming ordinary vegetables into veggie replicas of legendary works of art by masters such as Vincent van Gogh, Pablo Picasso, Leonardo da Vinci, and Andy Warhol’s Marylin Monroe.

Ju Duoqi’s kitchen is her studio, and vegetables are her paint. The 35-year-old artist uses boiled, dried, fried, and pickled vegetables, finishing with the fastest-rotting ingredients to create her masterpiece versions made entirely out of vegetables.

Her art breathes new life into ordinary vegetables, taking ‘green art’ to the extreme using everyday vegetables such as tofu, cabbage, ginger, lotus roots, coriander, and sweet potatoes.

Lumpy potatoes acquire expressive facial features, and radish roots, lettuce leaves, and cloves of garlic are transformed into Botticelli’s Venus.

Sichuan-born Ju carefully slices and carves the veggies, and then assembles her works with toothpicks, taking up to 2 weeks to complete a single recreation of some of the world’s most famous works in photographs.

The former website and computer game designer turned artist has been creating about 2 vegetable sculptures a month since 2006.

“You wouldn’t know them any better if they were chopped into French fries and covered in ketchup, but when placed in the picture, they all appear unfamiliar and rich in facial expression.”

“On the ground lies the body of a winter melon soldier, with rotting ketchup flowing out of his body like blood. The battleground is strewn with rotting vegetable leaves. This great story of history, this world-famous painting, here becomes completely absurd.”

These ’simple techniques’ pay Ju’s bills, as photos taken of the culinary masterpieces go for between $1,500 to $2,000 US each.

Her works which also include replicas of famous pieces such as Monet’s self-portrait and Leonardo’s Mona Lisa created with tofu are currently showcased at the Paris-Beijing Photo Gallery for ‘The Vegetable Museum’ exhibition.

Her organic version of Andy Warhol’s Marilyn Munroe fashioned from cabbage and a spring onion sold within a few hours of the exhibition’s launch to a foreign buyer, hungry for what could be called ‘crop art.’