Silent Voice by Ichio Usui
“Don't treat food poorly.” “Leaving food uneaten is wasteful.” – These are words that are commonly spoken to children by adults at the dining table, the same that were spoken to this artist as a Japanese child. But are these words actually true? While Japan is among the lowest-ranked developed nations in terms of food self-sufficiency, it is also among the countries that produce the most food waste per person. I wanted to give a voice to the food that was sacrificed to become products that went uneaten and wasted in Japan – having elapsed past their expiration dates, or been discarded because they didn’t have the right colour or shape. This project involves placing toy eyes on the ‘subjects’ (items of food waste) to transform them into characters – an effort to visualise the lives that vanish in the process of discarding food.