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We’re over-the-moon about our latest ArtsPeople project: Tanabata: Star Village commissioned by the Powerhouse Museum and Sydney Observatory for the 2016 July School Holidays. Tanabata, a Japanese astronomical legend, tells the story of how two stars – Orihime, a heavenly princess who weaves clouds, and Hikoboshi, a cow-herder – came to fall in love and be in the sky. Each year, on 7 July, these star lovers meet while the rest of the year they are separated by the Milky Way.

The central focus of Tanabata: Star Village will be a growing installation at the Powerhouse Museum and on the lawns of Sydney Observatory inspired by the Tanabata legend. The woven ‘collaborative constellation’ will be created with Slow Art Collective artists Chaco Kato and Dylan Martorell and the visitors themselves – this is a truly participatory art experience and everyone is invited to contribute.

Inside the installation at both venues, we’ll be hosting interactive storytelling performed by actors Shingo Usami and Noriko Yamanaka, where visitors can learn about the Tanabata legend. There will also be the chance to explore a musical galaxy, where bamboo stars respond to touch, emitting beautiful Tanabata-inspired music. On weekends, renowned origami artist, Midori Furze will be hosting origami demonstrations and there will be the opportunity to learn how to fold origami creations to hang or to take home.

More information below:

Tanabata: Star Village at the Powerhouse Museum

2–17 July, 10am – 4.30pm

Join us to weave, fold, write, listen, play, imagine and create a whole new world as ArtsPeople transform the Powerhouse Museum into a village of bamboo, string and paper.

This immersive, participatory art experience is suitable for all ages and is FREE FOR KIDS under 16 years.

Drop in to contribute to the growing installation created by Slow Art Collective (artists Chaco Kato and Dylan Martorell) and take part in a suite of Tanabata activities:

  • Follow in Princess Orihime’s footsteps and learn how to weave a colourful pattern in our giant collective installation.
  • Participate in an interactive storytelling to learn about Orihime and Hikoboshi, the star lovers separated by the Milky Way, performed by actors Shingo Usami and Noriko Yamanaka (hourly from 10.30am).
  • Write your wish for the future on a tanzaku wishing card and hang it on the bamboo structure.
  • Learn to fold origami creations to hang up or take home! Plus on weekends, artist Midori Furze will amaze you with her origami demonstrations (hourly from 11am-3pm).
  • Explore a musical galaxy in our interactive sound installation, where bamboo stars respond to your touch, emitting beautiful Tanabata-inspired music.


Tanabata: Star Village at the Sydney Observatory

2–17 July, 10am – 4.30pm

Discover the astronomical legend of Tanabata these holidays as, together with ArtsPeople, you help us create a magical world of woven yarn and bamboo on the Observatory’s lawn.

This immersive, participatory art experience is suitable for all ages and is FREE FOR KIDS under 16 years.

Drop in to contribute to the growing installation created by Slow Art Collective (artists Chaco Kato and Dylan Martorell) and take part in a suite of Tanabata activities:

  • Listen to a story about Tanabata and learn more about Orihime and Hikoboshi, the star lovers separated by the Milky Way (hourly from 10.30am).
  • Learn how to fold origami creations to hang up or to take home!
  • Write your wish for the future on a tanzaku wishing card and hang it on the bamboo structure.


Tanabata: Star Village
at the Powerhouse Museum and Sydney Observatory runs from 2 – 17 July, 10am – 4.30pm daily.

An ArtsPeople Production in partnership with the Japan Foundation, Sydney.

Supported by CUBEiT!

For more information or to discuss a project idea,
please get in touch

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