Kobe-based Japanese artist Yukiko Morita turns real bread into lamps to shed light on food wastage.
Morita buys unsold croissants, baguettes, and rolls from bakeries.
She told Insider that “croissant bags and baguette hats would be wonderful” in addition to lamps.
A Japanese artist has mastered the art of turning real bread into lamps. And no, you can’t eat them.
Using a wide range of bread including croissants and baguettes, these bread lamps — called “Pampshades” — cost anywhere from $44 to $220 each.
Combining the word “pan” — which means bread in Japanese — and “lampshades,” Yukiko Morita’s Pampshades are designed to shed light on not only the area where they are placed, but the serious issue of food wastage.
Morita buys unsold bread from affiliated bakeries and turns them into various products, using every last bit of the bread she works with.
Based in Kobe, the city known for bread in Japan, the artist was inspired by her experience working part-time at a bakery as a student, where she would take home unsold bread to eat or decorate her room with, per her website.
“This modest attempt at daily resistance changed when one evening I saw the light from the western sun illuminating a piece of bread whose white contents I had hollowed out and eaten. For a brief, inexpressible moment, it glowed beautifully within the darkened room,” Morita wrote poetically on her website.
Morita started working on her idea two years after her graduation from the Kyoto City University of Arts in 2008, and only officially launched Pampshade as a brand in 2016, per Creative Boom.
In one of her YouTube videos where she documents her bread lamp-making process, Morita can be seen hollowing out a baguette while sneaking a bite here and there, and checking for the translucence of the bread shell against natural light.
The Pampshades may look delicious, but Morita warns in the FAQ page that they are not edible, and that “some insect and rat damage may also occur” if the anti-bacterial and anti-fungal coating gets damaged.
Her current Pampshade menu also includes batards and toasts, but the artist told Insider that she would like to try using canelés, pretzels, and bagels in the future.
In addition to lamps, Morita makes clocks out of naan, as well as rusk snacks made with the leftover insides from Pampshades.
“My concept is to pursue the artistic appeal of bread that goes beyond just eating it,” she told Insider.
“For this reason, I would like to work on a variety of works other than lamps and clocks. I think croissant bags and baguette hats would be wonderful,” said Morita.