Each year, farmers make sure that the leftover rice-straw, called “wara,” does not go to waste. The wara is recycled by utilizing it to feed livestock, enhance soil, and at the coastal area of Niigata Prefecture, it is even used to create giant, beastly sculptures to get its Wara Art Festival, held in Uwasekigata Park.
We have featured amazing straw sculptures from previous ceremonies, and also this season’s Wara Art Festival–that marks its 10th anniversary–doesn’t disappoint. The festival’s organizers are celebrating the event by making the already enormous sculptures twice as large! The sculptures are so enormous they want special wooden frames for increased stability. Designs incorporate ferocious lions, colossal gorillas, huge crocodiles, and large rhinoceroses.
The Wara Art Festival began in 2008 when Niigata’s farming community approached the neighborhood Musashino Art University to acquire some creative leadership on turning their extra straw to works of art. Ever since that time, art pupils come to design and construct new beasts each year at Uwasekigata Park.
The 10th year of Wara Art Festival welcomes huge beastly sculptures created from recycled grain.