Giant Head Hot Air Balloon Floated Over Tokyo in Surreal Art Installation

all photos by Kozo Kaneda

If you were in Tokyo yesterday and looked up into the sky, or out your window, there was a good chance you might have thought you were still dreaming. At approximately 8AM, a giant hot air balloon began to inflate and then slowly rise into the sky from Yoyogi Park. Shaped like a giant head of a random person, the hot air balloon was a one-day installation by Japanese art collective and titled “Masayume” which means ‘dream come true.’

The hot air balloon proceeded to drift around Tokyo for the entire day, surprising, startling and sometimes scaring people. Some have likened it to Junji Ito’s horror story Kubitsuri Kikyu (The Hanging Balloons) while others have recalled scenes from the hit anime Attack on Titan. Either way, it served as a delightful distraction from the ongoing news cycle of coronavirus and Olympic-related news, which very well may have been the intent of the artists.

The project was originally inspired by a dream that Haruka Kojin, one of the three-member art trio, had when she was a young girl. A similar project was floated back in 2014 titled “Day with a Man’s Face Floating in the Sky.” Mé were also responsible for this beautiful sculpture of a wave that was installed in a local museum.

As was the case with their initial project, the face for this balloon featured and actual person who is alive, somewhere in the world but their identity remained undisclosed. They were selected from over 1400 people all around the world who applied to have their face floated into the sky.

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