Love for food
Did you know that July is the National Culinary Month in the U.S.? Nope, neither did I. But you would agree that the food is an art and they are similar. They both enrich our lives, and their presentability is as important as its quality. Japan boasts a vibrant food tradition and cultures, not only Sushi and Ramen. Also, their peculiar “food sample” or “plastic food” display at a restaurant is well known for its delectable reality. Let me introduce this exceptional Japanese artist who infused his art piece with food, sweets in his case, in an extraordinary way.
In Japan, where expressing love in public is discouraged, everyone seems to express their passion for food excessively to the public. On Instagram, my Japanese friends frequently show off what they eat both at home or in a restaurant. I am following them because I want to know what’s up but not about what goes in their stomach. Unfortunately, it’s too late to unfollow them now. Even on dating apps, which I never can get my head around why, I can see more food pictures there (no, no faces) than menus on UberEats. Set my confusions aside, here I present the pioneer of sweets decoration art, Osamu Watanabe.
Watanabe calls his work “fake cream art,” which makes sense since it is made of cream squeezed out of a bag, as in the case of making sweets. However, who would have imagined that a statue of the Virgin Mary made of cream would be elegantly erected on top of a cake? Buddha, clothed in sweet temptation but unencumbered by worldly thoughts, is coolly immersed in Zen. The creams are actually made of resin, but like the food samples in the restaurant, his ability to reproduce (delicious looking fake candies, fruits, cupcakes) is irresistible. My mouth is watering just writing this article.
The artist, whose mission is to bring happiness to people through sweet art using his artistic and pastry talents, says that his inspiration comes from his mother, a pastry chef and confectionary school teacher. In light of the fact that Pierre-Auguste Renoir, the son of a tailor and a great Impressionist, was skilled in drawing clothes, the influence of his parents is understandable. It is no coincidence that Watanabe chose Renoir’s famous portrait, “Girl with a Lace Hat,” as the subject of his tasteful homage. There is no doubt that this is a gem of a work by a culinary master who entertains visually, even if it cannot be understood by the sense of taste.
Japan is a land where Asian and Western cultures merge. Historically, the Japanese have produced high quality and improved products such as flintlock guns, cameras, and automobiles. Culture and art have also been fused, transformed and exported without exception. In Osamu Watanabe’s unique kitchen, Western art and confectionery have had a happy encounter with the Japanese creativity and kawaii movement.
For those of you who would like to see more of Osamu Watanabe’s blissful marriage of art and food, you can pick up a menu at TRiCERA.NET. And if this article appeals to your taste buds, please subscribe to our newsletter.