The love for food is a constant in the world.
Apparently, July is cooking month in the US. Even though the style of cooking is different, cooking is an art form, and both enrich our lives in a way that is universally recognized.
Although only known abroad for sushi and ramen, Japan is a country with incomparably rich food traditions and culture. In addition, the “food sample” displays seen in restaurants are popular for their drool-worthy realism and their unusual ideas.
In this issue, we bring you the works of unique Japanese artists who have incorporated food (sweets) into their art.
In Japan, people are reluctant to express their love in public, but the love for food seems to be overly publicized. Living abroad, I often see my Japanese friends showing off their food photos on Instagram. It doesn’t matter if it’s at home or in a restaurant. As for me, I’m not interested in their stomachs, I just want to know what they’re up to. Unfortunately, I can’t unfollow them now, and I don’t know what to do.
Even the Tinder-type apps for finding a date, which are very popular overseas, are filled with pictures of food instead of mug shots in Japan, and are no longer as extensive as the UberEats menu. I wonder if they are looking forward to choosing omelet rice for today’s date and yakiniku for tomorrow. My confusion aside, let’s get back to the introduction of the pioneer of sweet 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.