Japan has a rich tradition of food carving called mukimono. If you’ve ever eaten at a fancy restaurant in Japan you might have found a carrot carved into a bunny, garnishing your plate. But in the hands of Japanese artist Gaku, the art of fruit and vegetable carving is elevated to a new realm of edible creations.
One constraint to carving fruits and vegetables is that sometimes you must work fast. The moment a peel is removed, oxidization will start to discolor your artwork. So, depending on the variety, Gaku’s carvings are probably created within several minutes. Armed with a tool similar to an x-acto knife and a fruit or vegetable from the grocery store, Gaku carves intricate patterns that are often inspired by traditional Japanese motifs.
Gaku points out that the banana is great fruit to practice with because it’s cheap and easy to carve. When asked what he does with all his creations after he’s done, his reply is simple: he eats them. “Except for the banana peel.”
You can see more of Gaku’s creations on his Instagram account. (Syndicated from Spoon & Tamago)
Munich-based artist Veselka Bulkan (previously) continues to craft these whimsical veggies that dangle from embroidery hoops. Each piece is an amalgam of embroidered leaves affixed to felted carrots, beets, radishes and other colorful roots. Bulkan sells many of her creations via her online shop, Little Herb Boutique, and you can see her process on Instagram. (via Illusion)
Carrot by Rachel Dein, all images via the artist’s Etsy.
Rachel Dein (previously) chooses to immortalize plants that might otherwise wither away shortly after their appearance in the spring. Dein places theses flowers, vegetables, and foliage in arrangements within clay, making an impression of the plants before applying a layer of plaster. Once hardened, the initial clay is peeled way to reveal a relief formed by the delicate leaves and buds. A silicon rubber mold is then used to cast each tile in plaster using the shades of light white, green, or blue.
Dein sells her botanical work on her Etsy shop, a selection of which will be included in the Chelsea Flower Show this May, and in her first solo exhibition at Hampton Court this July. You can see more of her plant-based tiles on her Instagram.
Honesty, Lavender, Californian Poppy, Clematis seed head, Salvia and Achillia in Blue Wedgwood
Long Carrot in Emerald Green Wedgwood
Daisy, Dandelion and Bramble in Blue Wedgwood
Honesty in Blue Wedgwood
Peas in Duck Egg Blue Wedgwood
Latvia-based MapleApple, a mother and daughter duo, knit a bountiful harvest of produce solely from wool and acrylic yarn. The faithful recreations of turnips, carrots, lemons, and leeks are available as individual pieces or sold together as large sets. All pieces are child-safe and you can see much more in their shop.
Although it’s recommended we eat five to seven servings of fruits and vegetables daily, many are unaware of the origins, mythology, and symbolism many of our favorite healthy foods hold. Several of the most common vegetables took thousands of years to cultivate, the watermelon was originally known for being bland and buried with pharaohs as a water source in the afterlife, and Buddha considered the pomegranate one of the three most blessed fruits.
Photographer Maciek Jasik is fascinated by the tales behind fruits and vegetables and seeks to reintroduce these mystical qualities back into their being through his eerie depictions of squash, pineapples, horned melons, and others. “The Secret Lives of Fruits and Vegetables” aims to bring back the characteristics “that have been lost amidst the clamor of nutritional statistics,” says Jasik. “Each offers its own indelible powers beyond our narrow habits of thought.”
Jasik achieves this by his use of color and deeply-hued smoke bombs, poking small holes within his subjects to make the smoke subtly waft or flood from the inside. Not sticking to a particular color scheme, the images all convey vastly different moods, an eggplant appearing to be involved in a dark alchemical experiment as the pineapple looks like it is straight from an upbeat advertising shoot.
You can see more vegetative smoke-filled photographs from the NYC-based photographer on his Tumblr and Instagram.
In 2014, Dutch newspaper De Volkskrant contacted conceptual design studio Lernert & Sander to create a piece for a special documentary photography issue about food. Lernert & Sander responded with this somewhat miraculous photo of 98 unprocessed foods cut into extremely precise 2.5cm cubes aligned on a staggered grid. Looking at the shot it seems practically impossible, but the studio confirms it is indeed the real thing. The photo is available as a limited edition print of 50 copies printed on 40 x 50cm baryta paper signed by the artists for about €500. You can learn more on their website. (via iGNANT)