Playing with your food is generally frowned upon, but Japanese artist Gaku elevates humble fruits and veggies into art with his skilled and gorgeous carvings. With a simple X-Acto knife, he expertly embellishes radishes, papaya, apples, taro root and more.

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Gaku, apple art, art from food, food

Honoring and exploring the Japanese and Thai traditions of food carving, Gaku makes precise cuts into his chosen fruit or vegetable. His designs often take on traditional Japanese floral and wave patterns and are amazingly detailed and intricate, especially considering the ephemeral nature of his creations.

fruit carving, vegetable carving, Gaku, mukimono

Some of his elaborate works incorporate real and fantastical animals, such as a crab design carved into an apple or dragons carved into eggplant or a banana. As bananas are cheap and readily available, Gaku says they are an good option for practicing food carving.

lemon art, Gaku, food artist, Japanese food artist

Gaku’s attention to detail and careful cuts are truly impressive. This self-taught food artist began food carving as a hobby, and he is also a chef.

Gaku, apple art, art from food, food

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One of the most amazing elements of these designs is how quickly Gaku must work. As any foodie knows, bananas, apples, and avocados are fickle, turning brown and less visually attractive within mere minutes.

Gaku, zucchini art, food art, food artist

Gaku’s pristine photos, which he chronicles on Instagram, barely show any sign of the dreaded oxidation. Almost 60,000 followers anxiously await his next mukimono-style food carving.

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In addition to apples and lemons, Gaku has carved pumpkins, carrots, zucchini, and some type of leaf or stalk, which he transformed into grasshoppers.

Gaku, radish art, mukimono, food art

One of the ideas behind these food carvings is to appreciate the beauty of simple fruits and vegetables, and we love how the stunning images instantly expand viewer’s artistic imaginations. We also love Gaku’s not-so-precious approach to his creations when they are done: he eats them.

Gaku, apple art, food art, food artist

You can watch some of Gaku’s process here in this mesmerizing Instavideo.

+Gaku on Instagram

Via Booooooom and This is Colossal