Ju Duoqi has a thing for food, specifically vegetables. No, not that thing — this “thing” means turning them into art. Spawned from her position of housewife, Duoqi is happy that she “found a way of life for women who love the home” by crafting original works of art and re-workings of canonical ones – in veggie form.
Collectively called “The Vegetable Museum,” each piece is carefully constructed to mimic as exactly as possible its real-world, and really-famous, counterpart. No work is too sacred, even the Mona Lisa and The Last Supper get a veggie-friendly makeover, i.e. tofu and ginger respectively.
Though an obvious parallel can be made between Duoqi’s pieces and the portraits created by Giuseppe Arcimboldo, Duoqi combines historical and religious paintings (usually regarded quite seriously as the “highest form[s]” of art in the hierarchy of genres and painted on enormous canvases) with that of “still life” relegated to the bottom… a genre reserved for those artists taken far less seriously and considered the most suitable subject matter for (gasp!) women painters.
Like those early women artists who were relegated toe their home, Duoqi focuses on a medium that only requires her to travel rarely “more than 15 kilometers” from her studio/studio in search of appropriate media, and in recreating what are considered the “masterpieces” of our time in food-form, challenges the role these pieces have to play. Duoqi contemplates: “This great story of history, this world-famous painting, here becomes completely absurd. How do you approach this famous painting, do you really know its historical background? Do you know what meaning the painter wished to convey? I believe that the world is the world as I understand it, and none other.”
Martha Stewart, eat your artichoke heart out.