From bento boxes to radish sculptures, turning food into art is a popular pastime in Japan. Inspired by the nation’s traditional art of decorative garnishing (known as mukimono) and Thai fruit carving, Japanese chef and food artist Takehiro Kishimoto sculpts intricate motifs and patterns into fruit and vegetables.
The art of Thai fruit carving was originally used to decorate the tables of the royal family, and often involved carving elaborate 3D motifs (such as flowers) into the soft flesh of apples, watermelons, and more. The Japanese art of mukimono is hundreds of years old, and involves creating decorative garnishes for meals. By merging both traditions, Kishimoto has developed his own hybrid style, where fresh produce takes on the motifs of both cultures.
Rendered using a sharp blade, Kishimoto meticulously carves his designs into avocados, apples, carrots, broccoli, and more. In some cases, he turns fresh produce into elegant flowers, while other pieces of fruit and veg are etched with geometric patterns inspired by traditional Japanese textiles. Each edible masterpiece showcases the artist’s incredible talent and patience—some pieces can take several hours to complete! But what happens to Kishimoto’s creations when he’s done? He says, “I carve and eat it.”
Scroll down to check out some of Kishimoto’s food art, and find more from his portfolio on Instagram.