Japanese Farming Tradition Uses Rice Straw to Make Epic Works of Art After Harvests

Wara Art Festival, an annual event in the Niigata Prefecture, Japan where farmers turn their leftover wara (rice straw) into amazing works of art has gone international.

The Wara Art Festival started as a collaborative project between the students at Musashino Art University and the Local Tourism Council of Niigata City, and has been exhibited at Uwasekigata Park since 2008, Bored Panda reported.

On Aug. 28, it was announced that the annual festival will hold a month-long exhibit in York, Western Australia with Japanese artist Akira Moriya taking the helm of the project, according to Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Wara Art Festival will be part of the annual ACT-BELONG-COMMIT York Festival, which will run from Sept. 8 to Oct. 7. Moriya, along with West Australian artists Fiona Gavino and Yuko Takahashi, will work on the project with the help of volunteers to construct sculptures replicating several endangered animals in the country.

All sculptures are handcrafted by artists using wooden rods that act as the spine of the giant artwork, with rice straw covering the outer part.

It usually takes about a week to complete each sculpture.

Check out some of the photos from this year’s and last year’s exhibit below:

You can check out how one sculpture was created during last year’s festival:

Images via Facebook / waraartmatsuri

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