Artists: Ken & Julia Yonetani - Sugar & Salt Sculptures
0 comment Saturday, March 29, 2014 |
Yesterday, MA Art & Science took a trip to GV Art London to meet the artists Ken & Julia Yonetani and to see the "Sense Of Taste" exhibition.

"Sweet Barrier Reef" A sculpture inspired by coral reef, made from sugar.

"Still Life"Still life sculptures made from salt.
The exhibition title "Sense Of Taste" originates from the 17th century when explorers first set out to new lands, and brought back with them exotic new foods to the European upper class, thus starting the food importing industry. Paintings of exotic food in the still life style demonstrated wealth and extravagance.
Today, the food industry is booming and we take exotic foods for granted. We can have almost any food that we desire, and our culture is increasingly becoming addicted to sugar. Unfortunately, harvesting sugar has an ecological impact and this has led to coral reef bleaching. Nitrogen, phosphorous and herbicides are released in to the river flow, and when this reaches the coral reef, it covers the organism and suffocates it.
On the flip side, salt can be similarly destructive to ecosystems (this is a natural occurence but is worsened by global warming). The food industry in Australia has installed pumps to divert salt water away from crops, so this is almost an exact opposite to the sugar industry problem. In this instance, the ecosystem is attacking the food industry!
The ongoing project that Ken & Julia Yonetani is interesting from an ecological perspective, but still maintains a high level of material knowledge and serene beauty. For example, the salt casting process is the artists own invention, a solution of their own invention, made when collaborating with an engineer specializing in eco-cement. The finished material is smooth and pristine-white, and can be cast in fine detail.
Sugar-craft is fairly common in decorative foods and in art (I have created sugar pigeons, for example, from following a sugar-glass tutorial on youtube), but it is very challenging to create something so beautiful and on such a large scale.

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