Designer Creates Unusual Art from Everyday Foods

Designer Danling Xiao explores the extraordinary potential of everyday foods — and turns them into charming artistic creations.

Broccoli can be beautiful and sweet. An orange can be lovely and reassuring. In the hands of Danling Xiao, foods like these are all that and more: Two small florets become a couple of hedgehogs hanging out. A simple citrus yields a doorway that opens onto a floating peel staircase and becomes a lesson in unrushed romance.

For the past three years, Xiao, a Sydney-based designer and digital strategist, has been transforming food into art and posting photos of her charming creations on Instagram. She calls her project Mundane Matters, but the images of, just for instance, a bench crafted from a zucchini, a cauliflower sheep and a toaster made of bread (how meta) are really anything but mundane.

The irony is deliberate. Xiao tells FN Dish that she finds the act of creation meditative and enjoys the way playing with produce brings her closer to nature in the midst of her busy life. Hoping for humor, she’s also reaching for something deeper. By taking everyday objects we might otherwise ignore and turning them into something we pay special attention to, creating images that surprise and delight, she says, she seeks to ask: “Is mundanity really mundane? Maybe it is our ignorance?” She says, “If we look closer, if we slow down our pace and be more mindful about our surroundings, we can actually discover a wonderland inside every mundanity.”

Inspiring and really just adorable. You can follow Xiao’s work on Mundane Matters.

Photo courtesy of @mundane_matters

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