A cutlery set inspired by the uchi-soto relation in Japan and the mizumono dessert course of Japanese kaiseki fine dining
This project takes inspiration from various features of Japanese culture. Mizumono is the dessert course of the traditional kaiseki-ryori cuisine style, which is intricate and complex, and combines tea with a dessert item. Uchi-soto is a custom of in-groups and out-groups that features strongly in Japanese culture and is also examined and reinterpreted as part of this project.
While uchi-soto defines societal interactions in Japan, the shallow open curvature and straight profile of the shallow dish symbolises openness amidst formality and hopes to encourage people to explore and step beyond the invisible boundaries set in society.
A simple, minimal form reflects the structural simplicity of Japanese design. The flowing wood grain of mahogany embodies mizu, i.e. water in the name of the mizumono course. Beech is used for the tray piece, and its fine, uniform grain reduces the complexity of the overall set. A floating quality is created by chamfering the pieces in the set.
The composition of the tray and individual wares is made to resemble a miniature traditional Japanese rock garden, which replicated and reinterpreted features of nature using simple yet complex gravel and rock settings. Thus, this links with water as a theme in the mizumono course, where the desserts are intricately made, yet simple and light. The squared off tray is also meant to represent the formality and politeness described by uchi-soto.