Art & Culture

Jul 1, 2014

Works of Art

She works with food on a daily basis, but Ayako Suwa isn’t a chef. The founder of Food Creation is a food artist who creates masterpieces using food as a medium and continually seeks to challenge the ways in which we think about what we eat.

What inspired you to start using food as an artistic medium?

I was born and raised in The Noto Peninsula (in Ishikawa, Japan), which was surrounded by nature and the wilderness. I spent a large part of my childhood collecting berries, nuts, pollens, and even dead insects – I was curious, even as a young girl, to see how they would work as ingredients. Food is something we all take for granted, but I believe that, when rendered in different forms, has the ability to continually surprise and evoke a sense of wonder. At the end of the day, enjoying food is very sensuous experience, and that’s what I wish to convey in my work.

Guerilla restaurant at TripleOne Somerset
a creation as a result of a collaboration with 2am:bar’s Janice Wong

What projects are you currently working on

I have an ongoing art project at the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art in Kanazawa, in conjunction with its 10th anniversary that will culminate in a special banquet in October. I’m curating a collection of edible artwork using some of my own work, as well as tapping on some of the valuable resources from the University Museum at the University of Tokyo.

Have you ever considered becoming a chef?

Honestly, that was something I was never really interested in. My aim has always been to create something entirely new; something that shakes up how people think about food. In particular, I’m interested in the role that food plays in evolution and in innate human desires. Not all my creations are edible – some of them are created for the purposes of photography.

Tell us about your book, food creation | Sensuous food, emotional taste.

It’s my first, and it’s bilingual (in English and Japanese). In it, I talk about my artistic philosophy and showcase some of the work I’ve done throughout the years – from photos, to sculptural pieces, and graphic artworks.

You’ve been to Singapore a few times, and even collaborated with Janice Wong of 2am:bar. What was that experience like?

I worked with Janice on a project titled Journey On The Table. We wanted our guests to experience a full stimulation of their senses through our full course menu and imagine that they were migratory birds flying through different environments and landscapes. In 2011, I also opened a three day guerilla restaurant at TripleOne Somerset to raise funds for survivors of the tsunami that happened that year.

Ayako Suwa, food artist at Food Creation

(Photography Allen T W S (TripleOne Somerset) & Kai Lian, Lightedpixels (Journey On The Table) Text Denise Li)

To find out more about Ayako Suwa’s work, visit (in English and Japanese).