In the exhibition Ramen Love, artist Sarah Gonzales celebrates the global food sensation ramen noodles. Sparked by her love of ramen, she explores the roots of this noodle and its mid-twentieth-century journey from Asia to North America. Her quirky sensibility balanced with a skillful drawing ability creates a body of colourful works on the history of noodle making, the introduction of “cup-a-soup” to North America in the 1950s, and most importantly, the various types of noodles and broth. Gonzales explains, “As a cultural phenomenon, ramen has sparked tens of thousands of restaurants worldwide, influential films, documentaries, blogs, and [has] provided affordable comfort food to millions of destitute college students across the globe.” Balancing traditional fine art and contemporary design approaches, she creates small-scale drawings in her sketchbook, scans them into her computer, digitally paints each drawing and then professionally prints out a finalized piece. This approach references forms of traditional printmaking but is worlds away, evidenced by the fact that she uses a pen tablet to paint her scanned, digitally inputted drawings.
The characters featured in Gonzales’s imagery display a warm and friendly nature, which seems to be the result of the artist subconsciously infusing her own characteristics into each personality. The playful imagery captured within each of these works delivers warmth to the viewer, similar to the warmth and comfort a hot cup of ramen provides.
Curated by Xanthe Isbister, Esplanade Arts and Heritage Centre (TREX Region 4)
12 framed art works
7 plaque mounts
75 running feet