Monday, December 5 2016

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Recreating memories on a canvas - with food

Update: March, 20/2016 - 09:00
Sweet moments: Food picture My little friends.

 

With a strong passion for art, businesswoman Hoàng Yến in Nha Trang City in the central province of Khánh Hòa has come up with a creative and unique way to preserve those sweet memories by creating lovely pictures entirely made from food.

by Lương Thu Hương

Childhood memories have always been sweet and precious to everyone.

With a strong passion for art, businesswoman Hoàng Yến in Nha Trang City in the central province of Khánh Hòa has come up with a creative and unique way to preserve those sweet memories by creating lovely pictures entirely made from food.

On the small dish, Yến’s childhood appears so lovely and vividly: the mother preparing food for children, the father and little daughter in a jam-juice swimming pool or children playing around on the school yard. Each window frame or the kitchen table is made from brown cookies, the dresses of the little girls are made from green lettuce while their hair is made from yellow wavy noodle.

The creative director of Fashion Company Silk & Silver came to food art just by chance. “Besides my work, with a role of a housewife preparing meals, I found food as sensual and profoundly emotional as any watercolour, pastel or old medium.”

“Then, an idea of using food to make pictures crossed my mind. I tried it and was excited by it,” she says.

Yến reveals that she has created over 100 food pictures, all of which have been inspired by the world around her and especially, her childhood memories.

“Childhood friends, activities, and fairy tales my mother often told me as a child, have always been in my heart until now and have become an integral part of my soul. I am also thankful for having had a childhood before technology such as smart phones or tablets took over,” she says.

Several kinds of food are used to create Yến’s art work, and the ingredients she uses the most are pasta and noodle to create characters such as “kids”, “dad” and “mom”.

Normally it takes her two days to make a food picture: one day to look for the food and the second day to make it.

Yến says, finding ideas, sketching, finding ingredients and making it are steps in a process to create a work, but sometimes it does not follow this route.

“It is when I see an interesting kind of food and then brings about an interesting idea in my mind.”

Finding the proper ingredients for a picture is the biggest challenge that she has to encounter. It sometimes takes her a lot of time to look for just that kind of food for her piece of artwork.

Looking at Yến’s pictures, one can easily find their own vignettes of childhood memories in them. For example, there is one of a father and daughter waiting for a bus to school, or dad watering grass in the backyard or daughter playing with dolls.

Her absolute favourite work is entitled Awaiting Mom.

“My childhood was about afternoons spent sitting in front of the door step waiting for mom to return home. I was counting the seconds until she was back from work,” she recalls.

“The gift for my endurance was her radiant smile and the happy moments my mom and I shared after that,” Yến says.

Each food picture cannot be preserved for long, so she takes pictures of it after finishing, which is then enlarged and framed as gifts for her relatives and friends. The food pictures themselves will become a great meal for her daughter to enjoy.

All stunningly beautiful creative food pictures and childhood quotes will be the ingredients to Yến’s upcoming book entitled Awesome Food Pictures that Take You Back to Your Childhood. Behind the book is an interesting story about an American veteran who sent a gift to an artist in the country he once took part in a war nearly 50 years ago..

“His name is Joseph Gugglielmo, a brother of the renowned writer and filmmaker in New York, Angelo Guglielmo. He is the one who wrote caption for all the pictures in my book. His exquisite words make the book more meaningful. That’s a very beautiful story I have had in my life I want to share to the world,” she says.

Yến also nurtures a plan to publish her second book, Best Dad Ever Remembered Through Edible Ingredients, which she expects to be a meaningful present for all the fathers on this year’s Father’s Day.

“In the future, I also hope to co-operate with grand hotels to organise a gallery of food art so that more and more people will be introduced to such a new and unique form of art,” Yến says. VNS

 

 

Tiny tapestry: Awaiting Mom, Yến’s favourite food artwork.
Playing with food: A scene in the Snow White and the seven Dwarfs movie
Busy bee: Yến has created more than 100 food pictures, all of which have been inspired by the world around her, and especially her childhood memories.
Expiration date: It often takes Yến from one to two days to finish a piece of art. Photos courtesy of Hoàng Yến

 

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