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Artist creates mouthwatering works of wood

THE JAPAN NEWS
                                “Melting Icecube.”
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THE JAPAN NEWS

“Melting Icecube.”

THE JAPAN NEWS
                                “Beer” with a wooden back.
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THE JAPAN NEWS

“Beer” with a wooden back.

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                                Chocolate flows out of “Fondant Chocolat.”
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THE JAPAN NEWS

Chocolate flows out of “Fondant Chocolat.”

THE JAPAN NEWS
                                Konno’s works show blocks of wood gradually transforming into food.
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Swipe or click to see more

THE JAPAN NEWS

Konno’s works show blocks of wood gradually transforming into food.

THE JAPAN NEWS
                                “Melting Icecube.”
THE JAPAN NEWS
                                “Beer” with a wooden back.
THE JAPAN NEWS
                                Chocolate flows out of “Fondant Chocolat.”
THE JAPAN NEWS
                                Konno’s works show blocks of wood gradually transforming into food.

TOKYO >> A fluffy castella cake, fatty tuna nigiri sushi and takoyaki (octopus dumplings) with rich sauce — they look so good that you might be tempted to eat them. But they are actually works of art carved from wood.

In fact, the pieces by artist Kibori no Konno are attracting attention for being “too realistic.”

The artworks bear mysterious titles but become self-­explanatory when viewed. “Castella, Wood State of Mind,” for instance, illustrates the creative process with blocks of wood cut into “slices,” then carved to depict the porous texture in a slice of cake, and finally, painted to resemble a fluffy slice. Likewise, it’s interesting to see the process of gradual change in the works of nigiri sushi and takoyaki.

“I want to express things that are never associated with wood,” Konno said.

Konno, 36, from Shizuoka prefecture, began woodcarving in 2021 and introduced his artwork on social media while working for the local government. Since then, he has created about 170 pieces, mainly depicting food. In spring 2023, he launched his professional career as an artist.

The turning point was his work “Melting Ice Cube,” which he created while referencing a photo he took of a melting cube. To depict the wood grain of the board under the puddle of melted ice, Konno carved a block of wood into the shape of a melting cube. He applied a thick coat of varnish and added white streaks to emphasize its transparency.

Konno says he is particular about making his work look real for smartphone photography. “I want to create works that people want to photograph and share with someone,” he said. “I would be happy if that becomes the start of a conversation.”

While pursuing realism, he also leaves works partially unpainted, hoping people will appreciate the warmth of the wood. His piece “Beer,” for instance, could make the viewer thirsty when appreciated from the front, but the back reveals that it is indeed made from wood.

In the case of “Fondant Chocolat,” the chocolate smoothly flows out of a slice in the dessert. The cake even has a floury accent.

Konno said he will continue to create works with the theme of “something surprising.”

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