Ayako Suwa of Food Creation is interested not just in food, but in the sensory and emotional experiences of her patrons. Born in Ishikawa, Japan, she graduated from Kanazawa College of Art, and opened “Food Creation” in 2006. Her work is like Japanese food, in that it seems an almost surreal combination of reality and some kind of dream world. It is nutritional and practical, but in some ways almost feels unnecessary in regards to its specific flavors and design: like a fine art that has nutritional value, but with extraneous details that contribute to it’s overall charm and appeal. These extraneous details are what she extracts and transforms into something that in the end may be the most practical of all. She uses her culinary creations to express human emotions, and through these wishes to reawaken senses and desires to promote a deeper growth in those who experience her art. One is reminded of Willy Wonka, who realized the impracticality of candy is precisely what made it so meaningful.
Indeed the experience of Food Creation is reminiscent of some fantastic realm deeply hidden that is revealed through the unlikely means of food. Food Creation hosts what they refer to as “Guerilla Restaurants” in which its participants have an intimate experience of a full course of human emotion, and break away from what is typically expected of food. The food, the colors, the people, and the atmosphere all contribute to stimulate an experience of “sensuous foods, emotional tastes,” which Ayako Suwa speaks of herself in this lovely TEDxTokyo talk:
In the talk she refers to our ancestors, who at one point had to try things both for survival and out of curiosity. She says “I am interested in curiosity, which which is one of the most sophisticated our instinctual desires. This is why I do the Food Creation activities.” Through such things as curiosity and taste she says our ancestors sharpened their senses and evolved. Food Creation offers those in modern times the rare opportunity to do the same.