The Adorable Sushi Roll Art of Takayo Kiyota

Tokyo-based artist Takyo Kiyota uses sushi rolls as a canvas for her art. Believe it or not, she never knows exactly what her edible artworks are going to look like, relying only on visualization when expertly placing the colored grains of rice inside the roll.

Just like in regular makizushi, or “rolled sushi,”, the ingredients in Takayo Kiyota’s rolls are laid lengthwise, bottom to top, then rolled shut in a sheet of seaweed. The loaf-shaped piece of sushi looks unimpressive on the outside, but slicing cross-sections reveals amazingly detailed works of art. From edible replicas of famous paintings and popular character of Japanese anime to gadgets like the Apple iPhone and Facebook “likes”, it seems there’s nothing Takayo can’t replicate in her makizushi rolls. But getting every grain of rice in just the right place seems like an impossible task, and the artist herself admits the slightest shift of an ingredient or overly exerted force when wrapping can completely throw things off. “I never know what the inside looks like so I’m never sure if it will come out the way I imagined. And I can’t make edits once it’s done,” Takayo, a.k.a Tama-chan, says. “It’s always a special moment when I make the first incision to reveal the image.”


Takyo Kiyota calls her creations Nikkori-zushi, or “smile sushi” and posts photos of her best works on her blog. They were picked up by several Japanese and Western sites and sparked the interest of sushi lovers who wanted to learn the craft themselves. So she has set up classes in Tokyo’s Omotesando neighborhood, where she teaches the art of Nikkori-zushi.

















I was most impressed by this particular artwork that shows the development of a human embryo. The pieces are from the same sushi roll that, depending on where it’s cut, reveals different images. Amazing or what?



Photos: @ Takayo Kiyota

Sources: Spoon & Tamago, Core 77

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