LOS ANGELES – What goes into a perfect bowl of ramen? JAPAN HOUSE Los Angeles, a Japanese cultural destination in the heart of Hollywood, answers this question with its upcoming exhibition “The Art of the Ramen Bowl” spotlighting imaginative porcelain ramen bowls (donburi) and spoons (renge) designed by 30 world-renowned artists who share a love for ramen.
Seen for the first time outside of Japan, the exhibition includes a giant, Instagram-worthy ramen bowl created by well-known Japanese plastic food sample manufacturer Iwasaki Mokei, and an introduction to the noodle dish itself and to ceramics from Mino, a major Japanese ceramics center for over 500 years.
The complimentary exhibition is on display from March 18 – July 5, 2022.
The main display of designer ramen bowls – featuring some of Japan’s most significant contemporary artists such as Akira Minagawa, Hisashi Tenmyouya, Keiichi Tanaami, Tabaimo, Tadanori Yokoo, and Taku Satoh – presents a uniquely Japanese approach to decoration and its placement in everyday ceramics and promotes the idea that utilitarian vessels can also be works of art.
The fully immersive experience includes programs such as special ramen pop-ups in the JAPAN HOUSE Los Angeles restaurant space, films, and educational webinars.
“The Ceramics of Mino: 500 years of Beauty and Innovation” takes place April 5, 2022 from 5-6 p.m. PST. Check the events page for more details.
“Since ramen was first introduced in Japan in the late 19th century, this everyday dish has become ubiquitous around the world.
Yet the quality of the ramen bowls – which enhances the entire ramen experience – is rarely explored,” said Yuko Kaifu, president, JAPAN HOUSE Los Angeles. “We’re excited to offer a new perspective on ramen and allow visitors to experience ramen with all five senses.”
“The Art of the Ramen Bowl” explores how a common street food brought to Japan from China in the mid-1800s evolved to become one of Japan’s most beloved dishes, and a complex culinary artform.
The exhibition will lead guests through the origins and anatomy of the wheat noodle dish, showcasing the diversity of styles, flavors, ingredients, and styles of ramen and ramen bowls available in Japan.
One of the many captivating bowls on display is by leading postwar Japan pop artist Keiichi Tanaami and recalls a shocking moment in college when a spider fell into his bowl of ramen and drowned in the hot soup.
Traumatized by the experience, he gave up eating ramen altogether; the moment is powerfully conveyed by his vibrant skull-spider.
Immersive video artist Tabaimo’s bowl design offers a whole new take on “immersive art,” in her depiction of a male and female figure in the well of the ramen bowl. When the bowl is full of ramen, the couple’s relationship is glimpsed from different viewpoints as the diner consumes the ramen – suggesting the many different phases of relationships.
Admission to the exhibition is complimentary. Walk-ins are invited and the gallery is open daily from 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Exhibition Credits: Presented by JAPAN HOUSE Los Angeles; Organized by TSDO Inc. and Ceramic Valley Council; Curation: Taku Satoh, TSDO Inc. and Mari Hashimoto; Art Direction:Taku Satoh, TSDO Inc.; Graphic Design: Ayame Suzuki, Momo Hasegawa, TSDO Inc.; Exhibition Photography: Yusuke Nishibe; Curatorial Support provided by: Akira Tachibana, Takahiro
Tsuchida, Gifu Prefectural Ceramics Research Institute, Museum of Modern Ceramic Art, Gifu; Special Exhibition Assistance provided by: Ceramic Park Mino, Iwasaki Mokei Seizo Co., Ltd., Gifu Prefecture, Tajimi City, Mizunami City, Toki City, Kani City.
For more information, visit the JAPAN HOUSE Los Angeles website and social channels: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn.
JAPAN HOUSE is an innovative, worldwide project with three hubs – London, Los Angeles and Sao Paulo – conceived by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan. It seeks to nurture a deeper understanding and appreciation of Japan in the international community. Occupying two floorsat Hollywood & Highland, JAPAN HOUSE Los Angeles offers a place of new discovery that transcends physical and conceptual boundaries creating experiences that reflect the best of Japan through its spaces and diverse programs.