Concept behind the "Cooking Leather" Series
According to the United Nation report "The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World 2017", the number of chronically undernourished people in the world rose to 815 million. Meanwhile, over 3 billion meals worth of food (1.3 billion tons*) worldwide is being discarded annually, primarily by advanced nations. While these facts are chilling, we no longer are shocked by such reports, perhaps because such information is repeated so often and so widely known.
This series is an attempt to symbolize the distorted framework that allows hunger and gluttony to continue to co-exist in this world. I am treating leather products such as belts and handbags as ingredients, to be used in a category of cuisine which I call leather cooking. This is not some form of metaphor. In fact, there are plenty of stories of people forced into extreme conditions in war - for example, boiling their leather belts for food. In Charlie Chaplin's film "The Gold Rush", there is a famous scene in which his character is forced to eat his leather shoe in an effort to ward off starvation. On the other hand, as leather is an expensive material, it is integral, especially to luxury brands. By preparing and cooking this dichotomous ingredient, and displaying it as a form of delicious-looking chic cuisine, I want to present a snapshot of this bad joke of modern society.
* Referenced from information released by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)