Over at NPR this morning I found a small story highlighting art student Risa Hirai‘s edible art–more specifically, her hand-painted cookies. Hirai’s cookies feature Japanese motifs with the intention of wedding her ethnic roots to what she deems a very Western canvas: cookies.
If you were to walk into her current exhibit at the Gallery Tokyo Humanite (open until March 16th), the painted cookie display would feature bonsai trees, sushi, sukiyaki bowls, and daruma dolls. The experience includes not only seeing the beautiful, mouthwatering creations, but smelling them. Hirai asks her audiences to participate in her art through sensory experience–seeing, smelling, and tasting. The cookies are able to be eaten if their display time has not been for too long a period, as the cookies are made from sugar, flour, butter, and eggs. Hirai sometimes likes to deviate from her usual vanilla-flavored cookies to use a cocoa, green tea, or cinnamon base.
Attending Tama Art University in Japan for a degree in oil painting, Hirai feels her career ambitions have now changed since her venture into making edible art. Her beautiful cookies began as gifts to friends, but soon grew to represent a greater passion.
She says, “I had painted in oils until then, but I became so into making cookies and began to think that this could be a form of expression as art.”