A 74-year-old man’s hobby has taken the internet by storm.
The artist, Nishitaki Kazuhiko, manipulates paper so that it looks like real food. Kazuhiko’s son, Nishitaki Naoto, posts photos on Twitter for his dad’s unique art under the username Megane no Ojīchan (which translates from Japanese to “grandpa with glasses”).
Naoto spoke with Nippon about his father’s talent. Kazuhiko first began when he was 70 but by February 2020, he had already created about 200 projects. Lamb chops, bento boxes and fried chicken are just a few of the deceptively mouthwatering origami works on Twitter.
For each one, Kazuhiko glues Japanese paper over papier mache and uses various papers — like tissue, origami or washi — when needed. Pieces can take from one hour to three days depending on how complicated. The artist’s goal is not to design exact replicas but to simply trick the eye at first glance.
“According to the artist, the pursuit of realism above all else is futile, because it is not possible to match the realism of the imitation food used in restaurant displays. For this reason, he tries to keep some of the character of paper while reproducing the texture of the food,” Nippon stated.
Naoto only started crediting photos of the artwork to preserve them. That’s because his father dismantles every piece when he is done to reuse the paper.
Kazuhiko’s popularity has changed the 74-year-old for the better.
“My father has started using a tablet and has also debuted on Instagram. He now uses social media to see how his works are being received. He even posts photos on Instagram with my help,” Naoto said. “I hope that he carries on doing what he enjoys.”
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