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Washoku

In Search of Emptiness & Wabi Sabi

A book explores Japanese Wabi-sabi culture through the form of Washoku.

Project Objective

This project is inspired by Wa-Shoku (Japanese Cuisine) during the summer study in Japan. I explore Wabisabi philosophy through the lens of Japanese culture. Washoku represents Japanese culture, wabi-sabi spirit, and aesthetic.

Project type

Individual Work

Tools

Illustration

Photoshop

InDesign

Keywords

Graphic design

Book design

Research

Illustration

Culture

Duration

6 weeks

The Concept

The book is to show washoku in four seasons. In each season, I will collect certain elements that can represent the season, concepts of washoku culture. Add Haiku that fits the theme in order to express the emotion behind that scene. Using these elements to complete a washoku dish set. The setting of washoku set can be seen as an art piece. Using the form of washoku set, I will recreate the washoku with a sense of season and washoku elements.

 

Book Structure

 

Process

Seasonal Elements

One of the main concepts in washoku is to eat seasonal food. Due to this reason, people's feeling for each season is strongly linked to special food and elements in that season. For example spring, people will remember the taste of bitterness. Since a lot of wild vegetables start to grow in the mountain. These spring vegetables contain bitter tastes.

Haiku

Haiku is a Japanese style poem. It is part of the culture that is strongly linked to seasons. Most of the content of the haiku poem is describes seasonality. It uses a few words to illustrate an image in front of people's eyes. I am inspired by the scene haiku brings to people. So I decide to make each element page as a visualization of the poem.

Describes the very beginning of spring. The sentence is talking about snow begins to melt. This is an image of the beginning of the spring. The element is the plum blossom. The flower can blossom in the snow which is also a symbol of spring is coming.

Describes the very beginning of spring. The sentence is talking about snow begins to melt. This is an image of the beginning of the spring. The element is the plum blossom. The flower can blossom in the snow which is also a symbol of spring is coming.

Describes the very beginning of spring. The sentence is talking about snow begins to melt. This is an image of the beginning of the spring. The element is the plum blossom. The flower can blossom in the snow which is also a symbol of spring is coming.

Describes the very beginning of spring. The sentence is talking about snow begins to melt. This is an image of the beginning of the spring. The element is the plum blossom. The flower can blossom in the snow which is also a symbol of spring is coming.

Sketch

After I studied the food and culture element each month and turn it into each illustration.