I usually think of it as simply the box that holds the food I am going to consume. However, there are more to bento boxes than just lunch boxes. Below are some examples of bento box arts where there are little boundaries to imagination and creativity.
I found this example during a search on different blog sites where I was reading about a girl who likes to make bento boxes for her boyfriend as gifts. Cute isn’t it? Although I probably wouldn’t do it myself, she does it quite often. The process is messy and wasteful as lots of food are thrown away to make the cute shapes that goes into the bento box. It is definitely not economical, especially if it is done on a daily basis! However, I guess that’s the trade off you have to make – art or food, or both.
In “Cuties in Japan” by Sharon Kinsella, there are such things as “cute” food in Japan. I find it interesting how she talks about dessert and ice cream being seen as popular and fashionable. When I visited Japan in 2004, I swear I had soft served green tea ice cream everyday, even in the middle of no where. I saw it as much as I saw Japan’s vending machines of weird and crazy items like cigarettes.
Furthermore, Kinsella mention how there is a marketing strategy geared towards selling cute food. The food should be presented with some of the following characteristic (Kinsella):
- Gathered/pleated like
- Fairy- tale like
- Old or rustic (Victorian)
CUTE YUMMY TIME: KAWAII COOKING VIDEOS. SHAPED BENTO EGG MOLDS, ANIMAL PANCAKES.
All in all, according to Kinsella “Cute culture started as youth culture amongst teenagers, especially young women. Cute culture was not founded by business.” This form of art could be considered a part of these movement and trend.
In one way, cooking with bento boxes helps us because it is a step away from using brown paper bag and disposing them every time versus packing our lunch in a reusable container. However, after the cutting and shaping, too much food is being thrown out!
And in terms of the compact challenge for this week… All I can say is shame on me…I allowed my mom to buy me two new shirts... is that okay??
Phung Kim Vo
blog # 3
Sharon Kinsella. “Cuties in Japan.”