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Year / 2018 -

Anima is a series of tableware handcrafted from food waste and Urushi, Japanese lacquer.

It is initiated as a sequel to Food Waste Ware (2013), which was a project documenting food waste produced locally in London and making tableware out of it. The heart of Anima project is inherited from its predecessor and reinforced by its name in order to encourage us to rethink our relationship with nature.


Food is not a thing but life. We eat food for our existence, but, probably, not so many people are seeing food as life when trading, buying or eating. Being less appreciative of life, people living in urban areas are directly or indirectly wasting enormous amount of food for the economical or other reasons..

While developing this project, Kosuke kept a record of amounts of food waste produced from his house for the first two years. It only included non-edible parts of food, such as rind, peel, calyxes, shells and bones, and the total amount was approximately 315kg.

After drying, food waste is combined with urushi and then formed into a shape of tableware. It results in very dark brown (almost black) due to oxidisation of Urushi and shows brighter brown when exposed to a strong light like sunlight. The use of Urushi is crucial to make it usable and cherishable, giving it practical strength, waterproofness, anti-bacterial effect as well as sheen.

Urushi has been utilised to make from furniture to ritual implements since acient times and has also been widely applied to tableware. It traditionally has a close relationship with food, as some techniques use food-derived materials. This work has an aspect of reweaving these relationships in a contemporary context. Urushi, the sap of the urushi tree, can last thousands of years once hardened, but it also decomposes and returns into nature when being left under the UV rays for years. In this respect, I find this material very ʻcomtemporaryʼ and interesting.

Reincarnating wasted lives in new forms in tribute to them. Kosuke hopes this project serves an opportunity of reflecting your habits of daily consumption and issues around and beyond eating ‒ relationships between human beings and other living beings. 


Concept, Design, Research and Development, Production: Kosuke Araki

​Photography: Kosuke Araki


Together with Food Waste Ware, this project was on show for the first time in the exhibition, Food Revolution 5.0 - Design for the Society of Tomorrow, held at Kunstgewerbemuseum (Museum of Applied Arts) in Berlin, Germany and at Gewerbemuseum Winterthur in Switzerland.

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