What to Know
- "The Art of the Ramen Bowl" is on view at JAPAN HOUSE Los Angeles
- March 18 through July 5, 2022
- Free admission
A meal is a gift, an aromatic and toothsome memory in the bite-by-bite making, and we want for nothing after a delectable dining experience comes to its satisfying conclusion.
But sometimes, there is a present to delight the diner, even after an appetizing event ends, and it involves admiring the vessel that very recently held the delicious food you enjoyed.
Ramen bowls so often add that end-of-the-meal flourish, and taking a minute to appreciate the designs, lines, and imagery that might appear in the bottom of the bowl, or along the sides, is a contemplative tradition for many lovers of the warm and brothy offering.
Where to go, though, to see these vessels, a place that isn't a restaurant but is putting these storied porcelain pieces in the spotlight?
JAPAN HOUSE Los Angeles is that location, and dozens of donburi will be on view, in its gallery space, starting on Friday, March 18.
"The Art of the Ramen Bowl," a show that's "curated by designer Taku Satoh and art writer, editor and curator Mari Hashimoto and designed by Taku Satoh Design Office (TSDO) in conjunction with the Ceramic Valley Association, Mino, Japan," will touch upon the history of the fabled and delicious noodles, but also of the bowls that are synonymous with the ramen-savoring experience.
"In Japanese food culture, vessels of diverse shapes, styles and materials — including ceramics, lacquer, metal and glass — appear on dining tables, even for ordinary meals," reveals a statement on the JAPAN HOUSE site.
And while a "simple" donburi can be seen in many ramen restaurants, other eateries feature design-centered bowls.
What can a guest expect to see at the exhibit, which may stoke our appetites in addition to our imaginations?
"To examine 'donburi' more closely, these bowls are 'dissected' and observed in detail, like a specimen," shares JAPAN HOUSE.
"Then, in the hands of thirty artists, the bowls serve as blank canvases on which the fun, the deliciousness and the many possibilities of ramen are uniquely expressed."
An informative trip to Mino, the area long associated with the production of the classic ramen bowl, is also part of the eating-meets-art exhibit.
It's a show that both deepens our appreciation of an item that possesses an essential element of the everyday, but also culinary creativity, too.
And, most important, the lasting traditions of the donburi have a wonderful way of connecting ramen lovers around the world, wherever they happen to be dining.
Admission to "The Art of the Ramen Bowl" is complimentary.
Pictured: Skull-Spider Ramen Bowl designed by Japanese pop artist Keiichi Tanaami