August 2, 2022
Every year since 1993, the Japanese village of Inakadate transforms its fields into living works of art. Tapping into its history as a farming area, the farmers create incredible rice paddy art by planting seven different varieties of rice in intricate designs. This summer’s project depicts two famous female portraits from western and eastern art history, reports My Modern Met.
On one side is the iconic Mona Lisa by Renaissance master Leonardo da Vinci ; and on the other is Japanese 19th and 20th-century artist Seiki Kuroda‘s painting, Lakeside, which features a portrait of his wife Taneko Kaneko.
Both of these figures are rendered by planting seven different types of rice that, when in full bloom, help produce the necessary amount of contrast to imitate the colors and depth of the real works of art.
Due to the scale of rice paddy art, it requires a fair amount of planning to execute it properly. Former high school teacher Atsushi Yamamoto has been responsible for all of the complex designs in Inakadate. To create them, he uses a computer to translate the color schemes of the original image into something reproducible with just seven colors of farm field rice.
This year’s rice paddy art can be viewed from mid-June until early October. You can follow Inakadate Village on Facebook to see more photos of rice paddy art. They also have a page set up on their website that shares the natural changes in color of the crops—with a picture each day through the end of October.
Research contact: @mymodernmet