About the Project
Wagashi is a sweet Japanese confection sculpted into gorgeous little shapes often inspired by seasons. It is made from a paste is called Nerikiri (a combination of the sweet been paste called Shiro-an with rice paste called Gyuhi. The purpose of this project was to create a wagashi, its mould, and its serving implements. The wagashi had to be inspired by the tropical environment of Singapore.
Created: Oct 2018
Project Type: Food Design
Duration: 2 months
Materials: Mould- Ash wood, coated with
beeswax and mineral oil.
Tools- Balsa Wood, beeswax coated
Wagashi-Nerikiri, Food Colouring
Concept- Day and Night
The biggest change I experienced moving from a subtropical region (India) to a tropical one (Singapore) was the lack of actual seasons. The tropical region lies on the equator and doesn’t have any effect of the Earth’s titled axis thus no seasons, and due to this the day and night here is or an equal time period- 12hrs each, all year round. The wagashi is a reflection of the equal day and night time. This phenomenon can be experienced only in the tropics. Equilibrium refers to the balance between two strong opposing forces like the day and night.
Form, Colour And Texture
The look of the wagashi is inspired by the most tropical flower, frangipani. The form is taken from the curve of the flower petals. The beautiful natural curl was abstracted and developed into the petal shaped wagashi.
The flower’s colours white and yellow intrigued me, it is interesting to notice how they are in equal proportions and yet have a beautiful transition. Here, the yellow represents the cheerful hustle of the day and white is the calmness of the night.
The texture is taken from the dying flower. When the flower dries up its surface becomes very hard and crumpled up. It is very uneven unlike a fresh flower petal which is soft and smooth. The texture has been recreated and applied to half of the wagashi.
The occurrence of day and night is a never-ending cycle and to represent that the plate is in round shape. It also showcases time; the plate is round as a clock and when the wagashi and fork are placed they look like its hands together with the mould. The depth in the plate in lower from edge and higher from another to add contrast and movement. It is made of ash wood and is finished with bees’ wax and mineral oil to make it waterproof and long lasting.
The tool is the shape of a pencil. A ‘V’ shape is carved on its top that is pressed onto the nerikiri to create the ‘dried flower’ texture, it is dipped into yellow food colour so when pressed the colour transfers to the nerikiri. The tool is hand-carved and made of balsa wood and finished with beeswax and mineral oil to protect the colour.
The fork and knife are combined into one single implement. The shape of the fork is designed for better grip. It is made of pine wood and is finished with beeswax and mineral oil.