Goodbye, ‘Big Bambu’

BY Tom LeGro  October 26, 2010 at 1:19 PM EST

After six months of hoisting, heaving, bending, climbing and tying, “Big Bambu” is almost ready to begin its slow dismantling.

Towering to a height of 50 feet above the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, this huge sculpture by identical twin brothers Doug and Mike Starn is formed from thousands of poles of bamboo. The brothers, along with a team of rock climbers, constructed “Big Bambu” on site. Now they’re preparing to take it down.

The chaotic display of crisscrossing wood is meant to represent life itself; both the unpredictability and the interdependence of various relationships. Beginning as a much smaller piece that has slowly morphed into the giant it is today, the artists say “Big Bambu’s” growth — along with its eventual decay as it’s dismantled — is yet another analogy of life.

One of the most exciting aspects of Big Bambu is its level of interaction. More than 27,000 visitors have wandered along the walkways in the nest-like piece on guided tours and seen new views over Central Park. Curator Anne Strauss said that while “Big Bambu” is one of the Museum’s “most ambitious undertakings,” it’s also one of its most rewarding:

“Big Bambu: You Can’t, You Don’t, and You Won’t Stop” closes on Sunday, Oct. 31.