Mimolette whittled by a Thai artist? That’s exactly what visitors can see in the Pièces Montées exhibit lining the walls at the French Cheese Board’s year-old showroom and shop in Lower Manhattan. Ich&Kar, the French architects who designed the space, also assembled the cheese sculptures representing various architectural styles in the photos on display. To get the intricate motifs needed for some of the works, the designers turned to Thai craftsman Krai, who’s been carving food for over a decade.
Carving tropical fruit is a cultural practice that dates back to the 13th century in Thailand. Originally fashioned for royal consumption, the edible decorations are now served at weddings and other special occasions. “It’s an ephemeral art, and the final objective of this art is to be consumed,” Krai said in an artist statement. “To carve a piece of French cheese into a work of art creates a real spiritual connection to the food.” In the photos below, see Krai’s skill in “Rococo,” “Totem,” and “Pattern” (the latter took him three hours to finish) and enjoy the other whimsical statues by Ich&Kar.