Rice Paddy Art Celebrates Female Portraits From Art History

Since 1993, the Japanese village of Inakadate has been transforming its fields into living works of art every year. Taking advantage of their history as an agricultural area, they create incredible rice paddy art by planting different varieties of rice in intricate designs. This summer’s project features two famous portraits of women from Western and Eastern art history.

On the one hand is the iconic Mona Lisa by Renaissance master Leonardo da Vinci and on the other side the painting by Japanese 19th and 20th century artist Seiki Kuroda at the lake, with a portrait of his wife Taneko Kaneko. Both figures are represented by planting seven different varieties of rice which, when in full bloom, help to produce the necessary amount of contrast to imitate the colors and depth of the real works of art.

Due to the scale of paddy field art, it requires a fair amount of planning to execute properly. Former high school teacher Atsushi Yamamoto was responsible for all of the complex designs in Inakadate, for which 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 is on display from mid-June to early October. You can follow Inakadate Village on Facebook to see more pictures of their rice paddy art. They also have a page on their website that shares the natural color changes of the crops with a photo every day until the end of October.

Rice field art on June 21, 2022

Mona Lisa rice field Art in Japan

Rice field art on July 28, 2022

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