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by Mona Bavar
“When the objects we use every day and the surroundings we live in have become in themselves a work of art,
then we shall be able to say that we have achieved a balanced life.”
~ Bruno Munari
It can be said that a crisis can give way to creativity, and Manami Sasaki is showing us just how true this is. In her Stay Home Instagram series, this Japanese conceptual artist is using slices of toast bread as a canvas for her ephemeral art. With the use of ingredients such as ketchup, sour cream, squid, nuts and many more, Sasaki creates her daily breakfast of art. The theme of each artwork ranges from the Japanese tradition of Kintsugi to the Zen Gardens, karesansui, to Italian artist and designer, Bruno Munari.
Manami took some time between her daily bread to answer some questions about her work with conceptual art, the birth of the TOAST, dealing with social distancing, and the future of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Can you please tell us a little about yourself?
I am a 28 year old artist from Japan. After graduating from the Art University in Tokyo, I began working as an artist and designer.
I often make paintings and conceptual art. The theme of conceptual art is the study of the accumulation of time and memory and one's identity.
Karesansui - Japanese Rock Garden Toast
What is the story behind your toast artwork?
The artwork is for the breakfast bread. Before the lockdown, I would easily skipped meals or eat in between my busy routing, often buying something at a convenience store or a fast food meal. I was living a busy life on a daily basis, thinking I was optimizing and rationalizing and minimizing my mealtime.
But in this current situation, I've learned to value the rhythm of the day. I get up early in the morning and stick to my breakfast. My mind is aligned with the richness that comes from taking the time to do this.
Is it difficult designing on toast?
You must maintain the freshness of the ingredients, don't elaborate too much and make it look delicious. I can do delicate work, but too much of it can seem unhygienic.
Do you feel guilty eating the toast after?
No, when I'm done taking pictures, I eat right away because I'm starving.
Bruno Muon Toast
Before toast, what did you design?
I've made a variety of watercolors, sculptures and other artworks. My main focus is on conceptual art. I started this bread art as a daily routine to get up early in the morning, so I don't have a concept. I just enjoy it as a hobby.
How are you dealing with lockdown/social distancing?
In Japan, lockdown is not enforceable because of the law. Basically, I'm at home. I go to the supermarket to buy the ingredients.
Nihon Buyo Toast
Are you worried about the impact of COVID-19?
Of course I'm worried about the impact of COVID-19. Even though COVID-19 has settled down, I don't think it will ever go back to the way it was. It has changed the thinking of people all over the world. What was taken for granted is reviewed and a lot of new things are starting to happen.
Any last words for our readers?
Take care of your health and stay positive in any situation.
Click here to see more of Manami Sasaki's work