Residents of Utsunomiya, a suburb North of Tokyo, were treated to a surprise last weekend when they looked up into the sky and saw a large recognizable head of one of their neighbors. This wasn’t some Harry Potter spell. Rather, it was an art installation, 2 years in the making, by art trio Me (目) in collaboration with the Utsunomiya Museum of Art.
A gigantic balloon was painted in the likeness of a local ojisan (old man) and then inflated to create “The Day an Ojisan’s Face Floated in the Sky” (おじさんの顔が空に浮かぶ日). That day was December 13, 2014 but for those who missed it there’s another date scheduled for this weekend.
The nonsensical installation is based on a dream that artist Haruka Kojin – 1 of the 3 members of art trio – had when she was in junior high. To make the nonsensical dream come true, last year the artists set up a booth on a crowded shopping street and asked locals to submit their face for consideration. Of all the candidates, 1 ojisan was selected and his face was printed onto a gigantic balloon using pointillism. It took 2 months and over 67,000 dots.
The project was nicknamed ojisora.
Once it was inflated the face was 15 meters high and 10 meters wide.
For those who missed the first launch, there is one more launch this weekend (December 20, 2014). The location is the field at the Nishiki Elementary School and, barring any bad weather, the ojisan’s face will launch into the sky around 3:00pm and will float around for 4 hours.