Feeding love

Marije Vogelzang explores how the act of feeding translates in Japanese culture.

Food is a source of nourishment, fuel and often interaction and enjoyment, but Marije Vogelzang’s provocative work challenges preconceptions about meals and tantalises more than just taste buds.

Recently Dutch eating designer Vogelzang held an unusual food event in Tokyo where visitors were tasked to feed one another.

I have been intrigued by the concept of feeding for quite some time now and thought it would be a great challenge to see how this would translate in Japanese culture, says Vogelzang.

Vogelzang’s event FEED LOVE Tokyo saw visitors seated along an extended dinner table facing the opposite person. Visitors on one side were asked to wear sheets over their faces, while the other half of the participants remained dressed as they arrived. When various dishes were served, visitors were asked to feed one another across the table. Traditional Japanese soulfood and children’s favourites made up the menu for the night in the hope that it would stimulate past food memories and initiate discussion.

Because the tablecloths provided a kind of anonymity, people could relax and within ten minutes participants were laughing out loud and having lively conversations, says Vogelzang.

FEED LOVE Tokyo formed part of Roppongi Art Night, a one-night, all-night festival of art staged throughout the streets of Roppongi. The extravaganza spans the whole of the Roppongi district and features a range of events from art exhibitions, music, performances and public discussions. 

Watch the Talk with Marije Vogelzang