Creating patterns in sushi rolls, as it turns out, is not a new phenomenon. When looking for “sushi art” I came across the term ‘kasari maki’ which are decorative sushi rolls, made with coloured rice that come in a range of complexity and shape. There is actually already an artist who works in kasari maki: Takayo Kiyota a.k.a. Tama-chan.
Tama-chan uses dyed rice and careful planning to create detailed kasari maki featuring anything from pop culture references to replicas of famous works of art (as seen below). However, whilst it shows me the possibilities of the “medium”, and somewhat legitimises my concept, it doesn’t really give me anything to work from. I guess that’s because I already know what the sushi will look like and it’s the process of how it’s made that I need reference for – so whilst this was an interesting discovery, it wasn’t particularly inspiring.
In a similar vein, I found other variations of sushi being used as an art form and whilst they don’t inform my project, I thought they’d be worth highlighting. Artist Mayuka Nakamura, for example, created a literal gunkan maki (which translates to battleship roll). The company I&S BBDO and a man named Umino Hiroyuki are producing intricate nori for added decoration to sushi rolls.
Outside of edible sushi, I found this wooden block set designed to educate children about sushi from Tsumiki-Sushi. Whilst this also doesn’t offer a jumping off point into a new well of research, I do love it. I think the set is gorgeous and I adore the aesthetics of it; really clean and geometric but there’s still a handmade feel to it with the texture that comes through the paint. I believe the set looks beautifully crafted and it’s an aesthetic that I hope to get across in my animation.