FOOD for THOUGHT at Taka Ishii Gallery, Tokyo

Dates: Sep 17 – Nov 12, 2023
Location: Taka Ishii Gallery Maebashi
Opening reception: Sunday, Sep 17, 17:30 – 19:30


Taka Ishii Gallery Maebashi is pleased to present “FOOD for THOUGHT” from September 17 to November 12, 2023, a group exhibition on how food relates to art.


Food (n)
Anything serving for consumption or use: food for thought.


Thought (n)
The product of mental activity; that which one thinks: a body of thought.



Random House Webster’s Unabridged Dictionary (Random House, 2001)


Food has been portrayed in art to symbolize ideas such as identity, time, life, and culture. A lot can be told
about a person by looking at some of their favorite dishes. Food not only provides needed sustenance but also,
like art, provides immense pleasure.


Food is part of our everyday life and as so, it has been depicted in different ways throughout history. Still life
of fruits and vegetables with human-made ceramics and glasses for daily use show local products from
different countries, regions, and seasons. Fruits and flowers decay in Mario García Torres’s still-life video,
while there occurs an argument about the different meanings a work is forced to have through different
moments in time in a posthumous letter addressed to Mexican painter Hermenegildo Bustos. On the other
hand, the Cubist painter Georges Braque and contemporary artists David Hockney and Sterling Ruby tackle
the traditional genre of painting, and the playful photograms of Japanese photographer Daido Moriyama offer
a fresh approach to the medium. Scenes of appreciating food can also be seen in works by Nobuyoshi Araki,
Tomoo Gokita, Yoshitomo Nara, Ikko Narahara, and Yutaka Takanashi.



This exhibition will also show a selection of functional ceramics from the Mingei movement in Japan, which
evolved around the idea of beauty and craftsmanship in everyday objects. Featured artists include Shoji
Hamada, Kanjiro Kawai, and Soetsu Yanagi, founders of the Mingei movement, and Jiro Kinjo, who produced
pottery unique to Okinawa while incorporating the philosophy of Mingei. Their works remind us to reflect
on even our way of living and the exquisiteness of artisan’s work.
Ceramics such as pottery are baked like bread in the oven, then used for cooking and eating. It is difficult to

think of an art form that is more elemental, or more focused on food and drink. Varying in sizes, the surface
of ceramic bowls by William J. O’Brien retains the unpredictable flow and mixture of glazes made during
their production.



Food in Pop art and Conceptual art, food as an experience through performance and performance through
cooking ― food speaks to the soul, through the cultural, political, economic, and social relations between
humans and food. In Oscar Murillo’s “colapso social”, the shopping list of daily necessities is crossed out in
strokes of anger. The work is a reflection on the confusion and difficulties that people suffered during the
pandemic in the artist’s hometown in Colombia.



Presented works are by Nobuyoshi Araki, Georges Braque, Kenji Funaki, Mario García Torres, Tomoo Gokita,
Shoji Hamada, David Hockney, Goro Kakei, Shoji Kamoda, Kanjiro Kawai, KERAMIKOS, Jiro Kinjo, Daido
Moriyama, Kyoko Murase, Yoshitomo Nara, Ikko Narahara, William J. O’Brien, Pablo Picasso, Sterling Ruby,
Tatsuzo Shimaoka, Yutaka Takanashi, Hitoshi Tsukiji, and Soetsu Yanagi.



Other gallery artists will participate with their favorite recipes, including Mario García Torres, Tomoo Gokita,
Graciela Iturbide, Kyoko Murase, Oscar Murillo, Sterling Ruby, Yoshitomo Nara, and Cerith Wyn Evans.



For further information, please contact:
Exhibition: Elisa Uematsu / Press: Misa Namai (
5-9-1 Chiyoda-machi Maebashi-shi Gunma 371-0022 tel: +81 (0) 27 289 3521 / fax: +81 (0) 27 289 5560
e-mail: website:
Wed – Sun 11:00 – 19:00 Closed on Mon, Tue and National Holidays