Based only on photos of his works, you could easily assume that Mari Hamahira is one very talented sushi chef. However, while he does make sushi, he’s no chef. At least, that’s not his primary profession.
Hamahira is a Japanese artist who creates amazingly realistic sushi sculptures using polished stones. To make it all even more impressive, the bright colors of seafood in his gunkan maki or tuna in nigiri sushi pieces are all natural. So the color you see is the color of the stone used and not a result of a paint job.
石寿司の工程です pic.twitter.com/GVRWciHSSe— はま 万斉ぬい制作進歩状況21% (@ha_ma_73) February 24, 2021
Hamahira, who is a graduate student at one of Japan’s art schools, revealed that he came up with the idea while going through a lockdown. The remote learning allowed him to invest more time into the project, and he ended up making it the centerpiece of his graduating thesis.
石寿司制作現場と寿司たちです pic.twitter.com/I0g34eoxEd— はま 万斉ぬい制作進歩状況21% (@ha_ma_73) February 23, 2021
The sushi sculptures were mainly inspired by Hamahira’s working experience in the seafood industry and the food waste that surrounds it. He is hoping to raise awareness about the issue with this project, which is the main reason for including the more provocative sushi pieces with human body parts resting on rice instead of fish.
五美大展このご時世なかなか来れないと思うのでここで見て貰えたら嬉しい、、コロナで前期リモートの中後期にせっせと頑張って彫った卒制の石以外何も使ってない着色料無使用の天然石寿司— はま 万斉ぬい制作進歩状況21% (@ha_ma_73) February 23, 2021
According to Hamahira, this part of the collection should remind us that some of the food we consume was once a living and breathing thing.
4枚目の醤油皿と箸と箸置きも石で作りました pic.twitter.com/W1FiRRvP8Z— はま 万斉ぬい制作進歩状況21% (@ha_ma_73) February 23, 2021