Entitled Sense of Taste, the show has delighted visitors as they marvel at an underwater world crafted from sugar and at an elegant feast carved from salt.
Ken, who was born in Tokyo and studied under the Asian pottery master Toshio Kinjo (son of Jiro Kinjo, honored as a National Living Treasure of Japan), met his wife Julia in Australia where they now live and work.
Their joint creations mirror the art heritage of Kyoto as well as an appreciation for the natural beauty of Australia and also a deep understanding of classic European art. In “Sweet Barrier Reef” echoes of Japan’s famed Zen rock gardens can be seen. While “Still Life: The Food Bowl” captures the heart of a Dutch still life painting, all in detailed salt sculpture.
And though beautiful, each piece is also designed to ask gallery viewers to consider both the wonder of food and the environmental destruction that results from improper harvesting. Currently many Australian irrigation systems are dramatically increasing the salt level of ground water while the run off from sugar production centers are endangering the coral reefs.
The stunning appearance of the displays are now prompting many chefs worldwide to consider carving in salt or sugar as an alternative to ice, which melts and has to be replaced and replaced and replaced. A single sugar or salt sculpture not only will stand the test of time, it also offers the carver an opportunity to share both values and beauty with the property's guests.
Your Culinary World copyright Ana Kinkaid/Peter Schlagel 2011