Born to be Trash?
Art is the process of creation, and so is food. Yet, waste is the ultimate form of all creations. The commercial food market has been wasting products in landfills. Foods that are sold in supermarkets are usually with an idealized ripeness, shape, colour, or size. The market has made these perfect products that leads consumers to value appearance more than the taste or quality of food.
I try to emphasize the beauty of under-utilized ingredients and raises awareness regarding the tragic reality of food waste through my artworks. My art-making practise is my silent protest to the consumer’s preferences in the food market.
I used metallic paints to represent the value of food. This also signifies the money and resources that are spent on food production as a whole. As more edible food is being discarded, there are even more resources that are being wasted in that process.
Missing florets: Not utilizing the entirety of any ingredient harms the environment in multiple ways. Here, I painted a broccoli without its florets because the florets are considered edible while the rest is thrown out. While interning in some commercial kitchens, I used to clean and cut a few boxes each of broccoli and cauliflower every day. Few of the florets were priced for their perfect formation while the rest of the vegetable was discarded. How can we make better use of these parts and save them from landfills?
6 in x 6 in, Acrylic on Stretched Canvas, 2020
By-product or Not?: While studying in culinary school one of my chefs’ used to emphasize the importance to reduce food waste. I did not have a clear understanding of what that meant because food was never wasted at school. I was exposed to food waste during my first internship at a large multi-kitchen five- star hotel.
By-product or Not? is meant to showcase all the different types of fruit and vegetable peels that are considered waste in most parts of the world in the 21st century. I created metallic details on the painting to illustrate the hidden beauty that lies in every ingredient that ends up in the landfill.
12 in x 36 in, Acrylic on Stretched Canvas, 2020
Decadence: This painting is inspired by a large tray that once contained a strawberry mousse cake. The aftermath of a food buffet is a sad reality. While guests do not get to witness this crime, the employees and more often than not, the intern has to discard all that food. I have always imagined that all the emptied fold trays look like a row of canvases with abstract art.
6 in x 6 in, Acrylic on Stretched Canvas, 2019
Imperfection: I created this painting for all the produce that is thrown in landfills because they are not of the ideal ripeness, shape, colour, or size. We are used to uniformity because of supermarkets and value appearance more than taste or quality of the produce.
14 in x 18 in, Acrylic on Stretched Canvas, 2020