You read that right: a live rice paddy has been installed at the World Trade Center’s Oculus Plaza. This unique work, which went live yesterday, is a partnership between The Port Authority of NY & NJ and lifestyle brand LUCKYRICE. It is aimed at bringing the international importance of rice, the “most widely consumed food in the world,” according to the press release, to our streets. Budding green sprouts inside three tiers of rice paddies are growing within curved wooden planters that double as a seating area. Across the back of the display are several enjoyable and likely unknown facts about rice, its global relevance, and ubiquity.

The wooden planters are designed in homage of the terrace paddies of Asia that grow 90% of the rice in the world. There will be five varieties of rice grown here during this four month installation – Purple Jamon Upland Rice from Italy, Yukikihari Lowland Rice from Japan, Mamoriaka Upland Rice from Madagascar, Amaura Upland Rice from Uzbekistan, and Carolina Gold Rice from the United States. According to an installation panel, “Small seedlings will go through the life-giving transformation that feeds much of the planet, and that symbolizes luck, fortune, fertility, and global connections through culture and food.”

LUCKYRICE was founded ten years ago by New Yorker Daniele Chang to celebrate the food and culture of Asia. The exhibits collaborators are comprised of rice farmer Nick Storres who manages the Randall’s Island farm, Marianne Hyde of ZH architects, Production Glue, an event company with a focus on sustainable practices, and Digifabshop a cutting edge digital fabrication company.

Next, check out 17 other art installations not to miss in NYC this month!

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