Participatory Public Art Project

Aliens in New York

We promote mutual understanding between local communities of different ethnicities, races, genders, and other societal classes through a fun and delightful way.

Dual gender, Male, Female and Non-gender Peekaboo-kuns with Kimono outfits. Boogie On The Boulevard, 165th street and Grand Concourse, Bronx 2015

A Pregnant woman Peekaboo-kun. and a wearable Empathy Belly sculpture. Astoria Park, Queens 2017       NEW PROJECT!

A Mexican taxi driver, an Ukrainian full time worker at NYPL, an Iranian gym trainer, a Chilean house wife, a Malaysian part timer at a small market, an Ecuadorian salesman, a Chinese retired senior, an East Indian print shop owner Peekaboo-kuns. Jackson Heights Arts Festival, Diversity Plaza, Jackson Heights, Queens 2014

The participants choose the characters they want to be or a spinner can be used as well. They read the card which is attached to the back of each Peekaboo-Kun and become the character. A staff will take the picture and make a certificate on the site and the participant will write the reaction and signature.

A Kenyan activist, a Puerto Rican spiritual advisor, a Mexican taxi driver, an Ukrainian full time worker at NYPL, a Dominica Republican cashier, an Argentine guard man, a Brazilian freelance writer, an Irish policeman, a Cuban elementary school kid, an Ecuadorian salesman, a Chinese retired senior Peekaboo-kuns. Boogie On The Boulevard, 165th street and Grand Concourse, Bronx 2014

I say to each participant “Please watch the world through this hole, pretending that you are the person in the Peekaboo-kun, showing empathy.” We may look like aliens by others. Then, who are we and who are the others?, The Culture Night , P.S.122 Queens 2013


About The Project:

We will use ‘Aliens’ as a term that denotes super-uniqueness or diversity. Our themes target both the discomfort and empathy that people have towards the diversity in concepts and lifestyles such as gender, age and race. Something that is very natural and ordinary to one person can be strange to others. At the same time, strangeness can also be exciting. ... _read more




When Rica Takashima, director of the project, immigrated in 2008, her status was that of an “alien” at JFK Airport. “Who is an Alien?” This made her feel strange, and prompted her investigation of this term and the creation of new Peekaboo-sculptures of fellow NYC ‘Aliens’. She found that the term ‘Aliens’ create doubt and mutual distrust in people's minds. She found that rapidly changing lifestyles are harsh and disorienting, and when people can't catch up with the tide of a changing world, doubt, anxiety and distrust are created. Through this project, she wants to change these anxieties to excitement. ...Read more

Open to public &
free to participate

Shows Diversity


Create fun &
make people think


Peekaboo-kun, you would love them!:

A “PeekaBoo-kun” is a cutout board, which is carved and painted to represent humans, animals and objects at actual size, with a hole where people’s faces can show through. “PeekaBoo-kuns” play an important role . ... _read more


Where is the next Aliens’ Place?

"Our Story and Book"

Sunday, October  15th 11:00am-3:00pm

Sara D. Roosevelt Park – Hester St, Lower East Side

Collaborated with The Uni Project

Supported by Citizens Committee for NYC, The Uni Project

"Our Story and Book"

Thursday, November  16th 2:00-4:00pm

261 W. 125th St.West Harlem

125th street and Frederick Douglass Blvd.

Collaborated with The Uni Project

Supported by Citizens Committee for NYC, The Uni Project

"Our Story and Book"as a part of "Immigrant Artists"

Sunday, September 10th, 12-4pm

at Boogie on the Boulevard,

165th Street x Grand Concourse, The Bronx

The project is awarded and supported by Citizens Committee for NYC

Supported by BxArts Factory and Bronx Museum

"Pregnant Women and families"

Sunday, August 20th, 12-4pm

at Boogie on the Boulevard,

165th Street x Grand Concourse, The Bronx

Supported by BxArts Factory and Bronx Museum

"Pregnant women and families"

Sunday, June 11, 2017

9:30 am—1 pm

at MOMpreneurs' Summer Show & Tell

Great Lawn (bottom of Astoria Park)

Collaborated with UP-STAND

"Who Are You?"         

Cherry Blossom Festival at Randall’s Island Park

Saturday May 6th, 12-4pm

Fields 62 & 63

The List of Places 2010-2016 here...



Hold an Aliens in New York event!

Place: Do you want to hold Aliens in New York art event in your neighborhood? We love to do it!

As there are over 70 kind of Peekaboo-kuns, the project can be accommodated to fit any location, venue, occasion, indoor, outdoor, or public event of any size. 


Time: From several hours a day to several months, we can exhibit Aliens in New York very flexibly.

During exhibition, we can hold workshops several times, too.


Occasion: There are Peekaboo-kuns that perfectly fit to your community!

As necessary to express diversity, let’s make more new Peekaboo-kun of different diversities together.

We’ll also organize workshop by theme. Name your unique theme.

Budget: As our project is fiscally supported by New York Foundation for the Arts, you can hold the event by tax-deduction fee. Please take this benefit to your community.

You’d like to call, but not enough budgets?

Please tell me and let’s work to achieve the plan together!

In case of your event is private and limited to open public, 100% deduction might not work. 






"There are works that viewers are encouraged to touch, citing a series of mannequin figures made by pop artist Rica Takashima, designed for viewers to put their faces into." Bronx Calling: The Third AIM Biennial is at the Bronx Museum -Dana Varinsky, TimeOut, 2015

"On the evening of Culture Night at P.S. 122Q, the school also hosted Aliens in New York. 33 colorful Peekaboo-kun sculptures, which represent cultures in Astoria were displayed inside and outside of the school. Visitors enjoyed pretending to be different characters from different countries, and took snap shots."

Celebrate the Huge Success of the Culture Night: News & Views

Peekaboo installation has been a success in Poe Park. We have had many visitors and one of the most internship stops during the exhibition was the Peekaboo picture. People also enjoyed to the big size drawing of comics on the wall. It was very surprising for the people. Everyone enjoyed it very much.

 -NY Parks and Recreation, Laura A. 



Contact Me/News Letter

Thanks for your interest in Aliens in New York.

Fill in the form and I will contact you ASAP. 

Astoria, Queens, NY 11105

© 1994-2016 Rica Takashima, Takami Koka, Aozora Art.

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