Fascinating carved fruits and vegetables that are pure edible ephemeral art


The best known works in art history are centuries-old pieces that try to survive eternally. That is why I am fascinated by ephemeral art, which are already born with a countdown, like these fascinating carved fruits and vegetables. Fortunately, technology allows us to enjoy their beauty even if they have already disappeared.

Although I am drawn to any relationship between art and gastronomy, I am somewhat skeptical of creative decorating with food. The line that separates the artistic from the tacky is very fine, and the carving of vegetables borders dangerously old-fashioned. But this is not the case with the work of Gaku, a Japanese artist with incredible skill at handling blades.

In Japan and other Asian cultures, art is a reflection of their philosophy, culture and traditions, with a great weight of nature, of harmony, balance and the value of simple and ephemeral things. He mukimono is a good example, the art of carving fruits and vegetables that came through China, and is also practiced in other countries such as Thailand.

It is a very delicate work that consists of carving decorative motifs with low or high relief, playing with the texture and natural color of the rinds and the inner pulp. Vegetable, geometric, animal, floral designs or even ideograms are usually reproduced, and sometimes several pieces are combined with each other. With these works special tables and banquets are decorated.

But what Gaku does and what he shares on his instagram account is less pretentious and, at the same time, more fascinating. Using a scalpel-type knife typical of crafts, he dedicated himself to creating intricate carvings in fruits and vegetables that surprise and engage with their meticulous precision.

It also does it in rare vegetables for these needs, such as broccoli or avocado, cutting them in half to carve the interior as if it brings out the hidden beauty. It reminds me of what Michelangelo said, that each piece of stone -or plant, in this case-, kept the work inside, and only had to be brought to light.

The artist has to work quickly so that oxidation does not spoil her work, but it seems that this is not a problem. After playing a bit and capturing his creation on the web, he affirms that he eats all the carved pieces. After all, keeping them for eternal display would be impossible, what better end for fruits and vegetables than to fulfill their edible function?

The detail and perfection of geometric and floral patterns, typical of Japanese decorative art, have me totally hypnotized. If it were not so difficult to imitate her, that avocado would surely become the next hipster fashion of instagram.

Photos | gaku carving
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