• Not on view

In Japan, plastic food designed and manufactured for restaurant display, or shokuhin sanpuru, is a major national industry. Models of Japanese and Western foods are molded and painted in exquisite detail to look as good as—if not better than—their edible counterparts. Displayed in a restaurant’s front window, these durable replicas allow the customer to identify food names and prices and facilitate interlingual communication. The Japanese practice of creating replica food (in wax before modern plastics) dates back to around 1920 and was reportedly inspired by the lifelike anatomical teaching models then being imported from the United States by new medical schools. The industry boomed after 1960, when restaurants began offering more varied menus. The realistic models are also commonly used as stand-ins for commercials, and are even sold to tourists as souvenirs.

Gallery label from Counter Space: Design and the Modern Kitchen, September 15, 2010–March 14, 2011.
Medium
Plastic
Dimensions
see child records
Credit
Greta Daniel Fund and Yale University Fund
Object number
SC6.1977.1-12
Department
Architecture and Design

Installation views

How we identified these works

In 2018–19, MoMA collaborated with Google Arts & Culture Lab on a project using machine learning to identify artworks in installation photos. That project has concluded, and works are now being identified by MoMA staff.

If you notice an error, please contact us at [email protected].

Licensing

If you would like to reproduce an image of a work of art in MoMA’s collection, or an image of a MoMA publication or archival material (including installation views, checklists, and press releases), please contact Art Resource (publication in North America) or Scala Archives (publication in all other geographic locations).

MoMA licenses archival audio and select out of copyright film clips from our film collection. At this time, MoMA produced video cannot be licensed by MoMA/Scala. All requests to license archival audio or out of copyright film clips should be addressed to Scala Archives at [email protected]. Motion picture film stills cannot be licensed by MoMA/Scala. For access to motion picture film stills for research purposes, please contact the Film Study Center at [email protected]. For more information about film loans and our Circulating Film and Video Library, please visit https://www.moma.org/research-and-learning/circulating-film.

If you would like to reproduce text from a MoMA publication, please email [email protected]. If you would like to publish text from MoMA’s archival materials, please fill out this permission form and send to [email protected].

Feedback

This record is a work in progress. If you have additional information or spotted an error, please send feedback to [email protected].