Find inspiration to play with your food from this designer’s collection.

Art is in the eye of the beholder and can be created from a wide variety of mediums. While we’ve seen gorgeous flower gardens embedded in fruit sandwiches and sculptors carve traditional Japanese woodwork designs into apples, one designer decided to push their creative limits by painstakingly decorating their morning toast.

Manami Sasaki, going by the Insta-handle @sasamana1204, is a Tokyo-based live painter. However, with the wake of COVID-19’s spread in Japan, and following stay-in-shelter orders, they’ve briefly switched from painting to elaborate toast art.

From making mini zen gardens to re-creating modernist art, the artist’s social media feeds are filled with breathtaking renditions of your plain ol’ morning toast.

▼ Manami used sour cream, nuts and matcha powder to represent the sand and rocks of a tranquil zen garden. The lines were carefully raked into the sour cream with a fork.

▼ The recreated zen garden is reminiscent of Ryoanji, which is considered one of Japan’s most abstract gardens.

Other parts of traditional Japanese culture such as kintsugi and hanafuda are also reflected in Manami’s toast art.

▼ Kintsugi, translating to “gold joinery,” is the art of repairing broken dishes with gold. Manami used ketchup and edible gold leaf to hold their toast together.

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STAYHOMEのあさごはん🍞 6日目のテーマは金継ぎ🇯🇵 材料は、サワークリームと、食用金箔、ケチャップです。 食パンをちぎって、断面を少しずらして金箔でつなげると、より金継ぎらしく仕上がると思います😇 実はこの食パン、6枚入り78円で買ったもので・・・😂わたしが食パンだったら、身体に貼られた金箔を確実に2度見する👀 ケチャップで細かい模様を描くときは、小皿に出して水分を飛ばしてから描くと良いかと!(わたしは冷蔵庫からそのままいったので、細かく描くのが大変でした😭) _ 金継ぎは、壊れてしまった陶磁器を、漆と金で修復する日本の伝統技法です🌸 金継ぎの跡を「景色」と呼ぶらしく、ヒビを雷のように見せたり、ポテっとさせて柿に見立てたりするそう・・・😌💭 あえて目立たせて、時の経過や偶然性も愛でる文化。日本は素晴らしや。

A post shared by MANAMI SASAKI / sasamana (@sasamana1204) on

▼ Hanafuda are traditional Japanese playing cards. Shaved seaweed, nuts, tomato, mentaiko, and shirasu (baby sardines) depict the crane card of the pine suite.

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STAYHOMEのあさごはん🍞 11日目のテーマは花札(HANAFUDA)🎴こいこい〜🌸 材料は、サワークリーム、しらす、青のり、焼きのり、明太子、ミニトマト🍅 花札のデザイン展開と絶妙なサイズ感が好きで、鑑賞用として楽しんでます🍁 季節に合わせたモチーフも、版ズレの塗り表現も粋。ちなみに、好きな札は1月の「松に鶴/Jan.Pine」、7月の「萩に猪/Jul.JPN Bush Clover」です😇 学生の頃に花札を題材に香水のブランディングを提案したなぁ。懐かしい。💭 Hanafuda is Japanese playing cards. That is usually played by two persons. There are cards of 12 different kinds of flower and 4 kinds of same flower. The game is to match the same kinds of flower.

A post shared by MANAMI SASAKI / sasamana (@sasamana1204) on

Traditional motifs in Japanese art such as camellia flowers and sakura received a spotlight as well in Manami’s growing collection.

▼ Manami used tomato sauce, mint leaves, mustard sauce, and margarine to create this eye-catching camellia pattern.

▼ Inspired by sakura blooms while taking a walk near a river, Manami mixed blueberry jam and chocolate for this springtime display.

The artist also gave a callback to famous anime series, such as this brow-raising scene from GeGeGe no Kitarou.

▼ Left speech bubble: “Let us go pray!”
Right speech bubble: “I’m an atheist so I’d rather piss than pray!”

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STAYHOMEのあさごはん🍞 4日目はゲゲゲの鬼太郎の1コマ。 ※食卓にそぐわない表現が一部ありますが、ねずみ小僧に免じてお許しください🙇‍♂️ マーガリンと「ごはんですよ」のパンですよ💁‍♀️ TVで、パンに「ごはんですよ」が合うって聞いてからずっと気になっていて、ようやくチャレンジできました。惣菜パンとして優秀!味が濃いので、かけ過ぎは注意です😌 手書きトーンへの執念や色面のメリハリ、引きと寄りのリズム感・・・水木しげるワールドにうっとりする美大生でした。漫画はあまり読まない私ですが、画集として眺めてたな〜💭 おどろおどろしい線が、「ごはんですよ」の昆布の抑揚に親和性を感じる気もしています☺️(無理ある?) ぜひお試しください、と言いたいところですが、「ごはんですよ」の昆布が意外と大きくて、繊細な線の表現は難易度が高かったです⚡️なので・・・忍耐力に自信がある方、我こそは、という方はぜひ!💪

A post shared by MANAMI SASAKI / sasamana (@sasamana1204) on

For some mornings, Manami leaned more towards her design roots, choosing modernist works and bringing them to life on bread through a colorful array of red cabbage, baby tomatoes, and bell peppers.

▼ Manami paid homage to Paul Rand, who was considered a modernist master in many design circles and created IBM’s famous iconographic poster.

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STAYHOMEのあさごはん🍞 10日目のテーマはPaul Rand。 デザインがビジネスにとって効果的と体現した、20世期のグラフィック界巨匠です🙏 素材は、のり、プチトマト、チーズ、バジル、紫キャベツ、「ごはんですよ」、サワークリームです💁‍♀️ Paul Randが1960年代に作ったIBMロゴが現在も使われている、という素晴らしさ・・・🙏🌟 NeXTロゴのプレゼンテーションで100ページの冊子で解説し、それに感激したスティーブ・ジョブズがハグを求めた・・・というエピソードは、デザイナーとして胸が熱くなります😌

A post shared by MANAMI SASAKI / sasamana (@sasamana1204) on

▼ Italian artist Bruno Munari, famous for his futuristic work, was also given tribute with a reference to his piece Tuttoquadro.

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STAYHOMEのあさごはん🍞 9日目のテーマはブルーノ・ムナーリの「Tuttoquadro(1982年)」です。 素材は、ミニトマト🍅とバジル🌿、海苔、サワークリーム。見ての通り、味は90%サワークリーム!(このくらいが朝にちょうど良いぜ・・・) 絵本、グラフィック、プロダクト、彫刻と広い分野で活躍した巨匠👏 息子に読ませる面白い本が見つからず、自分で作りはじめたという素敵なお人柄☺️ 高校時代に、デザイナーを目指す友人とムナーリの展示を見に行ったのがきっかけで、ムナーリのグラフィックの虜に・・・😇

A post shared by MANAMI SASAKI / sasamana (@sasamana1204) on

Naturally, a few curious netizens wondered how Manami managed to curate such exquisite toast art. To satisfy their curiosity, Manami posted a photo of their process for their Bruno Munari tribute on Twitter.

“I’ve received questions about the tools I use. For this piece, I used a needle to create the shape from the seaweed, then a pair of tweezers to set everything.”

For those who want to follow Manami’s toast art adventures, or to see their paintings, you can access their Instagram here.

And if you’re craving for more food art to stave off the gloom of doom-scrolling a social media feed full of COVID-19 news, check out our other food art-centered articles such as these ‘eggstraordinary’ creations and cookies which look like meals!

Source: Instagram/sasamana1204
Insert image: Wikipedia/Stephane D’Alu
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