Japanese artist Noriyuki Saitoh crafts life-sized insect art made completely out of bamboo. The small, delicate sculptures are awe-inspiring in their attention to detail. Saitoh depicts the razor-thin veins in the wings of dragonflies and cicadas, as well as the wiry whiskers of grasshoppers. By bending, scoring, and layering pieces of the sustainable wood, these creatures look as if they could scurry away at any moment.
Saitoh and his team are careful to admit that the bamboo art is not intended as exact replicas of insects. They produce the sculptures at the same size as the real creatures, but they editorialize some characteristics. “We strictly measure the dimensions and prioritize the appearance impressions, features, and senses rather than proportions being created exactly,” producer Tokyuki Saito writes. “We compensate [colors] with knowledge, experience, and imagination.”
Thus, the visual impact of these insects takes priority above getting the shape of the eyes exactly correct. The resulting sculptures are a fascinating look at how our flawed memory has its own way of shaping reality—even with something as small as a grasshopper.
Saitoh shares his creations on his website. In addition to many satisfying shots of his work, he writes detailed descriptions about each creature.
Japanese artist Noriyuki Saitoh creates life-sized insect art using bamboo.
His attention to detail is incredible as he bends, scores, and layers pieces of the woody grass to form the tiny creatures.
The bamboo sculptures look as though they could scurry away at any moment!