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The Art of Food

May 23, 2016
Rosanjin Kitaoji
Sushi, sashimi, sake… Japan’s gourmet offerings have always been an exquisite work of art, but now it’s official. Foodies can take their fandom to the next level with major new exhibition Kitaoji Rosanjin: A Revolutionary in the Art of Japanese Cuisine at Nihonbashi’s Mitsui Memorial Museum. Running until late June, it’s a celebration of UNESCO’s 2014 addition of Japanese cuisine to its Intangible Cultural Heritage list.

The delectable display showcases the works of renowned ceramicist, sculptor, calligrapher, engraver, gourmet critic and restaurateur Fusajiro (Rosanjin) Kitaoji (1883-1959), the man responsible for the revival of traditional Japanese tableware and elevated washoku (the country’s food). After starting his Kyobashi antique shop/art gallery Taigo in 1917, Rosanjin made the inspired call to serve food on the ceramics he was selling. He ran an exclusive members-only restaurant above the gallery, becoming a celeb chef, and even crafted his own tableware.

Devotees of elegant tableware will be in seventh heaven, with gorgeous exhibits drawn from major institutions including the National Museums of Modern Art in both Tokyo and Kyoto, as well as private collections. Ogle delicate sake cups and celadon porcelain sake bottles, and admire covered lacquer bowls and serving trays. Motifs range from irises to cherry blossom, birds to crabs, grapes to grass, and the moon to Mount Fuji. Head-turning pieces include Shino beer mugs, earthenware teapots, vases, screens and hanging lanterns. Tuck in!

Until 26 Jun, 2016.

7/F / Mitsui Memorial Museum / Nihonbashi Muromachi 2-1-1 / Chuo-ku / +61 3 5777 8600 / 10am-5pm Tue-Sun /