Playing With Food

TheeBlog-PlayingWithFood Remember when your mom used to tell you not to play with your food? Well, that rule still applies, unless you’re feeling adventurous in the bedroom (or dungeon) OR if you are as talented as Malaysian artist-architect, Hong Yi. Mostly known as “Red”, Hong Yi creates stunning pieces of art utilizing various elements and objects. One of her latest projects, ‘31 Days of Creativity with Food’, features different scenarios ranging from popular stories like 3 Little Pigs to iconic art pieces like Warhol’s Campbells can or Munch’s painting The Scream, all created using food!!! Make sure you show this to your mom…

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Two weeks ago, I gave myself a challenge, that in every day in March, I would come up with a piece of art and post it on my instagram. I could do anything but only had two rules: 1) I must only use food and 2) I must place them on a white plate, as my backdrop.

I did this because I realised that my art projects were getting too big and too complicated. My last piece of Aung San Suu Kyi done with flowers was 3.5×3.5 meters, took an entire month of experimenting, and I had a crew of 20 people help me install and shoot the video.

While I enjoyed working on that piece despite the hard work, I thought I’d push myself to do something very different. My ‘creativity with food’ series has helped me push the limits of my creativity by forcing me to churn out new designs every day. It has taught me to not be too serious about what I do, but also to pay attention to detail and to work within the confines of a very small area. I’ve learned to slice, dice, stir, boil…who would have thought I’d need that for my art!

The first few days were pretty easy for me but it got a little more challenging when I reached day 7, the day I did ‘the Great Wave off Kanagawa’ with rice and nori. To create a clear image of the wave, I had to make sure the rice wasn’t overcooked, and had to lightly dab them with water to separate each grain. However, this was a problem too because the nori would shrivel up when in contact with moisture. I had to work on this for about 1.5 hours to get the effect right. The cherry tomato balloon one took 15 minutes.

I keep a sketchbook with me where I jot down every idea that comes to mind. I shoot all photos with natural lighting, around 4-5pm when the light’s really nice and soft…this means I need to have my idea ready by around 3pm, so I’m usually rushing up on work like a mad woman in the afternoon.

This has definitely been a very refreshing and fun exercise that is very different from what I’ve done before. It’s made me more observant of the food I come across each day; I don’t just shove them done my throat anymore…I notice their texture and patterns, the way they crack or fold or crumble, and how they react when in contact with heat or moisture or air…It has taught me to see joy and fun in ordinary, everyday items that I come across, and to paint and create objects as I feel and imagine them, not just as I see them. – Hong Yi

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2 comments
  1. Great creation! it’s not how you play with your food, it’s the final outcome that counts!!!

    What was the maid made out of? Nori?

  2. OMG! You are so talented. The ideas are so artistic and cute. Seems like a big effort, but I’m pretty sure you had fun doing all of them. Don’t ever stop, try to keep going!

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