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this instagram makes art from avocados

Japanese-based chef Takehiro Kishimoto's 'Gaku Carving' has become a surreal sensation.

by Laura Pitcher
|
Feb 26 2019, 4:02pm

Images courtesy of Takehiro Kishimoto

After Kobe-based chef Takehiro Kishimoto discovered Thai carving online, his initial appreciation for the art quickly grew into an obsession. While creating small garnishes is part of his job, working as a chef in a hotel in Kobe, he started to try more intricate fruit and vegetable carvings in his spare time.

He created his Instagram account under Gaku Carving in 2016, wanting to share his work with his circle of friends and family, along with other Thai Carving enthusiasts. He didn’t expect to gain such a large following, which is now over 250 thousand.

People from all over the world follow Gaku Carving, with the shared interest of watching their favorite produce take new forms. A watermelon references Pikachu, a sweet potato takes form as an alligator, or an avocado becomes carefully crafted flowered.

Kishimoto now hopes his unexpected popularity can help him to “spread Thai carving across the world”. i-D caught up with him about his fruity mission.

How did you start carving?
I am a Japanese chef. I make ornaments out of food to decorate as my job. I found out about carving on the Internet and was inspired first by fruit carved like a rose. I thought I would like to try it myself.

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Why do you call it “Thai carving” and not traditional Japanese Mukimono?
Mukimono and Thai carving are similar. Mukimono is used to decorate meals, while Thai Carving decorates places. Thai carving has a history of around 700 years and originated from royal cuisine. They create beautiful sculptures that make fruit and vegetables look gorgeous using only a small knife.

What is the meaning behind the patterns?
My designs utilize mainstream techniques and traditional patterns that were transmitted from long ago, as well as many of my own original designs.

How long does each design take you?
It changes with design and size. Apple takes around two hours, broccoli takes one hour, and avocado usually takes an hour and a half.

What do you do once you are finished?
Eat them. They are food after all.

Why did you start the account?
I want everyone to know that I am not playing with food. It is a beautiful culture and I hope Thai carving will spread across the world.

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