The Echigo-Tsumari Art Field is a fantastic and wonderfully impractical art space in Japan, where artists from around the world have scattered large-scale installations across 160 kilometers of land. In the midst of this art field is this set of giant colored pencils from Cameroon-born artist Pascale Marthine Tayou, titled “Reverse City:” enormous colored pencils hewn from trees dangle 2 meters above the ground, pointing down at the visitors below.

The installation is meant to both unnerve and delight viewers– the pencils are stunning in their bright hues and familiar shapes, yet their suspended formation is intimidatingly aimed at the viewer’s heads, as if about to fall. From the Echigo-Tsumari website:

Rows of giant pencils hanging from thick beams appear in Matsudai Joyama. On each pencil is written the name of one of the countries of the world.

The giant pencils are variously colored; some are short, some are tall. This town of pencils is fixed into a stainless steel frame and hovers, detached from Nature, at a height of about two meters. Suspended upside-down, the points of this colorful city are aimed at human visitors who, looking up at it, feel both awed and threatened.

A similar (reversed) color pencil installation comes to mind when I see this– the color pencil sculpture by Jonna Pohjalainen has the same, oversized pencils in an outdoor setting, but instead of the sleek, polished look of the pencils above, these are a bit wilder and organic and pointing upwards towards the sun. Both are great interpretations of this basic artist’s tool– I’m really loving the recent trend towards oversize object sculptures! [Via My Amp Goes to 11.]

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