'Growing Gardener' – Shinagawa City, Japan - Atlas Obscura

'Growing Gardener'

Shinagawa City, Japan

This gnome sculpture and his wonderous hat forces train passengers to do a double-take.  

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If you take the Yamanote Line from Osaki Station, you might notice a strange, twisting red pillar that appears to be protruding from the ground and winding unimpeded through the sky. Many passengers in passing are left to wonder what did they just see. 

As it turns out, this twisting red sculpture just so happens to be the tip of a Phrygian cap worn by an otherwise ordinary garden gnome. His red mainstay stretches like a serpent about 49 feet (15 meters) into the sky. Known as the “Growing Gardener,” the sculpture was created in 2006 by Inges Idee, a German artist collective known for their unique and humorous public art installations.

The not-so-little guy was designed to symbolize the jumbled culture of the city, a fusion of abstract and tangibility, the mystical and the real. The gnome was introduced for the opening of Osaki Art Village, a complex of high-rise office buildings and residential/commercial areas. The gnome and his marvelous hat were installed into the village’s surrounding garden as its chief guardian.

Know Before You Go

Osaki Art Village is just a few minutes by foot from Osaki Station. 

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