starn brothers build-up monumental big bambu installation in jerusalem starn brothers build-up monumental big bambu installation in jerusalem
jun 17, 2014

starn brothers build-up monumental big bambu installation in jerusalem

starn brothers build-up monumental big bambu installation in jerusalem
photo by mike + doug starn




having already erected ‘big bambú’ installations across the globe including the rooftop of the MET museum in new yorkMACRO museum in rome and 2011 venice art biennale, mike and doug starn build-up the ninth iteration of their monumental work in jerusalem within the israel museum‘s billy rose art garden.

starn brothers big bambu jerusalem designboom
10,000 bamboo stalks are bound by rope to form the immersive structure
photo by mike + doug starn




towering 16 meters (52.5 feet) high, and covering more than 700 square meters (7,500 square feet), ‘5,000 arms to hold you’ invites visitors into its delicate and airy framework of 10,000 bamboo poles (bound by rope); forming an elaborate labyrinth of winding and intimate paths that offers expansive views of jerusalem’s cityscape and the noguchi-designed public art space.  

starn brothers big bambu jerusalem designboom
view into the bamboo matrix
photo by elie posner




it took the starn brothers and their team of rock climbers more than a month to construct ‘5,000 arms to hold you’, their largest and most complex undertaking to date. the immersive sculptural work’s development stood as a performative act, allowing the public to view its progress until its official opening on june 16th, 2014.

starn brothers big bambu jerusalem designboom
view from the ground
photo by elie posner




the concept of big bambú has nothing to do with bamboo,’ said mike starn. ‘big bambú represents the invisible architecture of life and living things. it is the random interdependence of moments, trajectories intersecting, and actions becoming interaction, creating growth and change.’


it is philosophic engineering, a demonstration of chaotic interdependence,’ added doug starn.

starn brothers big bambu jerusalem designboom
‘the helix’ which visitors traverse to reach the highest point of the installation
photo by mike + doug starn




set within the noguchi-designed landscape of our billy rose art garden, and against the dramatic backdrop of jerusalem’s broader landscape, 5,000 arms to hold you marks the first time the starns have been commissioned to develop a work in their signature medium of bamboo in a setting without architectural constraint,’ said james s. snyder, the anne and jerome fisher director of the israel museum. ‘from the inception of its creation, big bambú has activated our garden with the energy of its emerging form, representing through both experience and metaphor the starns’ reflections on how chaos actually creates the order that is our lives. through cultural programming and related artists’ projects throughout the summer, big bambú will become an even more dynamic setting that we hope will engage and inspire our audiences.’

starn brothers big bambu jerusalem designboom
‘5,000 arms to hold you’ in the context of the jerusalem skyline


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