Place a pair of chopsticks on top of an onion slice; use a slice of lotus root as a pot stand; you may even cut an apple into thirds, and place it on top of an open book as a paper weight. The descriptions are not wild and bizarre ideas inspired by Tim Burton but refer to the Cut Piece series from Graf, a Japanese design studio.
I believe that food ingredients have healing powers. Whenever I see chefs with outstanding knife skills cutting food ingredients into pieces with beautiful arcs and cross-sections, I will be struck with amazement. Probably Graf can also join their ranks. When I went out shopping the other day, I stumbled upon this “Cut Piece” which came out two years ago. It is a series of brass ware drawing inspiration from the state of fruit and vegetables being cut open or into pieces. From top to bottom, left to right, they are respectively: lotus-root shaped bottle opener, onion pot stand, apple paper weight, onion chopstick rest, and cherry stem fruit fork.
In this set of five Cut Piece items, apart from the apple paper weight, all are obvious kitchen tools or tableware. You can place a tea cup with hot water upon the “onion slice” for insulation; if you suddenly want to drink some wine, you can use the “lotus root slice” to open a bottle; you can first rest a pair of chopsticks on the “onion petal” while piercing some appetizers with the “cherry stem” for a bite. But how does the apple paper weight fit into the picture? It was only after a long while that it dawned upon me it is for those who refer to recipe books while cooking. Clearly I am a person who never steps foot in the kitchen, and instantly I feel a sense of embarrassment being an unseasoned man who knows nothing about the taste of pain.