The end of summer signals the beginning of Japan’s annual rice harvest in the Niigata Prefecture. The only bad thing about it is that people are left with tons of unusable straw, which is called wara in Japanese. So what should you do with all that waste? Make art, of course!
On the last day of August, Niigata holds the Straw Art Festival, during which artists gather to create sculptures out of the material. These massive pieces adorn the fields until early November.
Amy Goda is one of the participating artists.
She’s an art student in Niigata, and she’s created several massive wara dinosaurs this year for the Straw Art Festival.
Of course, a few other creatures showed up, too.
The straw is attached to wooden frames, which gives artists the ability to create huge sculptures.
The technique for building them is similar to that of thatching cottages.
Some of the creations are insanely detailed.
Different methods are used to create different textures.
Here, the straw has been twisted and wrapped.
And they make for some great photos.
The sculptures are open to the public, and people are welcome to climb on them and interact with them when they visit Uwasekigata Park in Niigata City. You can see more images of the festival on Amy Goda’s Twitter.