Perhaps one of the most interactive and “Instagrammable” exhibits at The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston is Mike and Doug Starn’s Big Bambú This Thing Called Life exhibit. The exhibit opened to the public this summer, but closes on Sept. 3. For those who haven’t had a chance to explore the bamboo wonderland, make sure to catch it before it closes! 

Big Bambú This Thing Called Life is located in the Ludwig Mies van der Rohe galleries of the MFAH and is made of up 3,000 bamboo poles expertly lashed together. The installation is a maze of bamboo that visitors can climb through and explore. Mike and Doug Starn took great care to ensure the bamboo structure had the illusion of a curling wave, complete with eddies, currents and a 30 ft. crest. The artists provided the MFAH with a blue print, model and overall vision and the museum then collaborated with the artists’ installers to execute the structure. 

Visitors can cross a bridge of bamboo that winds from the Upper Brown Pavilion balcony into the wave’s curl, then deep into the Big Bambú sea. The path extends to the floor, where you can explore the bamboo eddies and currents at ground level. Big Bambú is a true sensory experience as there is even a Spotify playlist created by the artists to complement the exhibit. So while you climb through, enjoy a curated musical experience with the Rolling Stones, Outkast and Prince. 

Before you make a mad dash to experience Big Bambú, there are a few things to note. Tickets for MFAH members are free, adult tickets are $19, seniors, military, college students and youth are $13 and children 12 and younger are free. Bundled tickets to Big Bambú and the Peacock In The Desert exhibits are $25 and include general admission to the museum. All ticket holders may experience the exhibit at ground level, but to access the upper-level pathway, there are requirements. Visitors must:

  • Sign a waiver that can be filled out ahead of time by clicking here
  • Wear flat, rubber-soled shoes/no bare feet, heels, wedges, flip-flops, or backless shoes such as mules
  • Confirm they are able to walk without assistance
  • Be at least 3.5 ft. tall (42 in.)
  • Confirm they are age six or older
  • Have one adult for every two minors between the ages of six and 12 in the group
  • Access the pathway without babies in carriers or strollers
  • Exercise sensible judgment at all times when on the pathway, especially if using cameras, smartphones, etc.

There is plenty to see and explore at the MFAH, so be sure to check out some of the new attractions like The Brown Foundation Plaza, BBVA Compass Roof Garden and the Glassell School of Art