From the Leaning Tower of Pizza to fish cutting and cooking fish to dragons emerging from dragon fruit, Japanese artisans’ quirky plastic food sculptures were on display at an exhibition in Tokyo this week. rice field.
The model takes the same meticulous attention to detail as the stone-like noodle soup and crispy-looking plastic snacks that have long been displayed outside Japanese restaurants called “food samples” or “food samples”. It was made by
The samples are commonly found outside ramen shops and family restaurants, and it’s been a century since stores started using wax models to advertise their menus to the growing middle class.
“Usually we have to follow the orders of our customers. When we make our products, we take their opinions into account,” Shinichiro Hatasa, 57, a plastic food artist, told AFP.
But when it comes to coming up with fun designs, “you can use your imagination. It’s entirely up to you how it ends up,” he said.
For this exhibition, Mr. Hatasa made an ear of corn leisurely sunbathing on the beach.
Other works on display included four deep-fried breaded shrimp roaming like tigers on piles of shredded cabbage, and a Tetris game made out of chicken.
A Japanese breakfast dish of fermented soybeans called natto, called natto, appeared to swirl in the air and resembled a powerful cyclone.
About 60 sculptures were exhibited. Some are silly, but others are designed to showcase the artist’s formidable skills.
Reiko Ichimaru, who participated in the exhibition, said, “It’s not real, but it’s very real. It’s wonderful.”
– “Burgers are for beginners” –
All models are handmade by the specialists of the Iwasaki Group, a representative manufacturer of “samples” in Japan, which celebrates its 90th anniversary this year.
At the Iwasaki factory in Yokohama, near Tokyo, craftsmen first mold ingredients from actual meals prepared by customers at the company’s restaurants.
Then begins meticulous work to make the sample look as realistic as possible, from drops of water on a chilled glass to subtle scratches on the surface of the fruit.
“Fresh things are more difficult to make. Fresh vegetables, fresh fish, cooked things are easy,” Hiroaki Miyazawa, 44, the factory manager, told AFP.
“Hamburger patties are for starters,” he added.
Fake food is a multimillion-dollar market in Japan, but Samplele’s production has been hit by the coronavirus pandemic, reducing demand for eating out.
The sample makers hope more tourists will soon be able to enter the country to boost the food service industry, but they also want to bring their unique skills to other countries. used in place.
For example, artisans in Iwasaki created replicas of bananas of different ripeness levels that the factory uses to train new recruits.
We also have orders from IT vendors who want to use mock 5G wi-fi routers in their presentations.
On the other hand, at exhibitions, more original products please both children and adults.
Yutaka Nishio, 52, said, “I think the number of restaurants that display food made of plastic is decreasing.
“It’s interesting to preserve this as art. It’s really nice.”