Bear 0

So, what do you look for in a sleeping bag? Most people would probably say not much, except that it’s soft and warm. But once you take a look at this unique creation by Amsterdam-based Japanese artist Eiko Ishizawa, you might say that an interesting design also counts for something as well. It’s the “Great Sleeping Bear“, which began as one of Ishizawa’s art projects and is now getting a whole lot of attentionfor its amazing life-like detail and also its hefty price tag!

The 190 centimeter-long (approximately six feet, three inches) sleeping bag, which was originally created by Ishizawa in 2007, has a very real bear-like appearance. It was inspired by the true story of a “problem bear” who had wandered from the Italian Alps to the Bavarian side of the mountains in 2006. There was much debate about what should be done with the bear, who was eventually named Bruno, but in the end it was determined that he was too much of a threat to humans and other animals in the area and was hunted down. Ishizawa decided to recreate this sad incident in the form of a bear-shaped sleeping bag  that symbolizes the often contradicting relationship mankind has with nature.

While the project dates back some years, the “sleeping bear” is now making the rounds on the internet here in Japan, as you can see in this tweet:

The tweet by @kuronek0720 showcasing the sleeping bag says, ” I so want this!!! A bear-shaped sleeping bag! It’ll be like you’re hibernating…”

After making several prototypes of the sleeping bag, Ishizawa launched it as a made-to-order product on the online publishing platform Cargo about two years ago. Below are some photos that were presented on the site.

Bear 1

Bear 2

Bear 3

Bear 4

Bear 5

What is quite interesting is that Ishizawa invites anyone ordering the product to send in pictures of themselves with the sleeping bag from around the world so that a collage of the bear freely roaming the globe can be created. She is also asking the she be allowed to anonymously pinpoint locations of purchasers on a map so that the bears’ distribution worldwide can be seen as a visual image. We have to say, it’s intriguing to see something like this that just doesn’t end with the sale of a product but carries the connection further. Unfortunately, it seems there aren’t any points on the map at this point.

According to the product page on Cargo, the item has a considerable price tag of US$2,350, though to be fair, a tremendous amount of effort and time has to go into hand-making something like this. If you’re fascinated by the sleeping bag and you’re interested in finding out what it feels like to sleep inside a bear, you can get more details by making an inquiry through the Cargo page or Ishizawa’s official website. If you do become a proud owner of a Great Sleeping Bear, though, you may want to be careful about not being shot at if you decide to curl up in one for a nap outdoors!

Source: Twitter/@kuronek0720, Eiko Ishizawa website (The Great Sleeping Bear)
Top image: Twitter/@kuronek0720
Insert images: Cargo (The Geat Sleeping Bear launch page)