Probably this is the question that I’ve heard from people the most frequently. I’ve answered in many different ways like making a silly joke which was “It’s just because I’m obsessed with collecting nice aprons”, or being lost in thought to choose a proper word, talking about my comfort food–mom’s curry–, and asking others’ opinions of the same topic.
But after staying in three different cities from Seoul, Milan, to London, I realized that it’s because of the pleasant recollections of the time I spent together having a meal with people around me. Food let me feel a sense of belonging and mingle with them, whatever our background. Even though everybody eats for a different reason and has a different diet, by sharing food, they become on the same page at least at that moment. Undoubtedly I believe this universal behavior is the strongest medium that impacts both our social relationships and personal lives.
From my personal experiences–the joy of sharing a delicious meal and celebrating with my loved ones, experiencing a loss of appetite from anxiety and depression, to overeating to fill the emptiness inside–, I became more curious about how food closely interacts with one’s memory and affects one’s emotions.
So that led me to listen to the conversations around the table and to have an interest in the mutual relationship between people and food. What does food mean for these people in front of me? It could be about survival, celebration, or consolation. Then how did they come to consider food from that point of view? My focus in studying food design came from these questions and will continue discovering new perspectives with my own practice from having a friendly chat to sharing meals together.