Big Bambu installation MOMA

The New York Museum of Modern Art is known for feature avante garde works and (metaphorically) cutting-edge pieces – but being (literally) sliced is the least of your problems with this work: far more likely, you could simply slip, fall a few stories and be impaled by bamboo sticking skyward some distance below. Yes, they have gone beyond simply having artists install a giant stick-frame bamboo structure on the roof of the MoMA in Manhattan – you are actually allowed to climb this bamboo nest sculpture yourself if you follow the rules, meet the requirements and (of course) sign a waiver before you do.

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Big Bambu climbable bamboo nest MoMA
Big Bambu bamboo nest

The piece is about networks, connectivity and modern society – what better place to see just how you relate to others than in the midst of a group of people standing at the same dizzying height.

Big Bambu bamboo nest paths

The ‘Big Bambu” project will total fifty height at its peak, using 5,000 poles and 50 miles of nylon cord in its construction. The plans were drafted by an architect and the design vetted by the local building authorities, but it still looks just a tad dangerous. It is, however, also being constructed by veteran rock climbers and loads were tested by use of heavy sandbags. 

Big Bambu bamboo nest from above

More info from artists Doug and Mike Starn

“American artists Mike and Doug Starn (born 1961) have been invited by The Metropolitan Museum of Art to create a site-specific installation for The Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Roof Garden, opening to the public on April 27. The identical twin brothers will present their new work, Big Bambú: You Can’t, You Don’t, and You Won’t Stop, a monumental bamboo structure ultimately measuring 100 feet long by 50 feet wide by 50 feet high in the form of a cresting wave that will bridge realms of sculpture, architecture, and performance.”

“Visitors are meant to witness the creation and evolving incarnations of Big Bambú as it is constructed throughout the spring, summer, and fall by the artists and a team of rock climbers. Set against Central Park and its urban backdrop, the installation Doug + Mike Starn on the Roof: Big Bambú will suggest the complexity and energy of an ever-changing living organism. It will comprise the 13th consecutive single-artist installation for the Cantor Roof Garden.”