by Caitlin Sullivan in New Art on Thursday 5 September 2013

In 1993, the people of Inakadate, Japan faced a problem: 2,000 years of rice agriculture was not enough to generate revenue for the town. Devising plans to garner tourist attention, the locals embraced their agricultural past and developed a new art form: Tanbo (rice paddy) Art.

They now crafted immense, living art from dyed rice stalks each year, consistently adding more detail to the work. The art requires $35,000, on top of the labor from 1,200 community members, to create, though it has become a successful enough draw that new rice is planted and landscaped into the artwork every year.