TARO After graduating from culinary school, I worked at restaurants. But I had always wanted to be involved in art, so I began catering at galleries and museums. Soon, I started presenting art projects on the theme of food, like Ogori Café (2008), where customers can only buy food for others, and Shokutsu (2012), a project where strangers living far apart send each other food by special delivery.
Imai I am fascinated by the bloom and vitality of buttered toast and Muscat grapes, for example, and that is what I paint. When I’m taken with something, I snap a photo with my phone. Then sit down to paint it after sending my children off to school. I would like to paint what I am surprised, so I don’t sketch it out first. I start straight off by painting. Besides food, I also paint somewhat surreal scenes of dolls sitting around the table. I work on these late at night when my family is asleep.
TARO It is interesting how similar that sense you describe of spontaneously painting what is there is to the act of cooking. Most of my works do not have a tangible form. So I can only imagine what you describe, which makes it all the more interesting.