The village of Inakadate is an area of Japan most known for its production of rice, an agricultural product that has grown in the surrounding fields for over 2,000 years. In order to increase tourism to the small village, officials began a traditional of creating large, elaborate images by strategically plantings different varieties of rice. Nearly 25 years later, the town is known throughout the country for its colorful rice drawings, which occur each year with the help of hundreds (and sometimes thousands) of local volunteers.
To begin the process for upcoming designs, there is first a conference to discuss possible ideas. Next government officials make simple computer mockups of the winning designs, which are then sent to local art teachers for more conceptual renderings. Finally, markers are placed into the fields to create what is essentially a large-scale paint-by-number, the entire process taking up to three months.
You can see more images of the famous rice paddy fields in the video above. (via Great Big Story)
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For his latest exhibition at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, German artist Wolfgang Laib poured over 30,000 piles of rice and seven piles of pollen to create one of his largest installations ever entitled Unlimited Ocean. Laib worked with several SAIC alumni during a ten day residency in October to pour each small mound resulting in an enormous grid that covers much of the expansive Sullivan North Gallery in downtown Chicago. The work will be on display to the public through December 23, 2011. Photographs by James Prinz courtesy SAIC.
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