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Williamsburg Art Show Lets Visitors Eat Art Meant to Symbolize Puberty

By Serena Dai | February 16, 2015 7:44am
 Avent Studio is hosting a show where visitors can eat the art.
Avent Studio is hosting a show where visitors can eat the art.
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Avent Studio

WILLIAMSBURG — Eating cotton candy has never been so sensual.

A new Williamsburg art exhibit about transitioning into puberty uses food as art — and lets gallery visitors eat the artwork as part of an "ephemeral," interactive experience.

The carnival-like exhibition, called "Finding Puberty" in English and "Where is spring?" in Chinese, examines our growth into adults through an exploration of sensuality, said He Wei, founder of the group Avent Studio.

Cotton candy clusters resembling breasts, candy attached to ropes representing menstruation and beverage-filled bottles shaped like penises are among the pieces in the show.

Puberty is a universally critical time for shaping an adult's life, He said, making it relatable across cultures.

"It's a way to find our identity," He said. "It's very important to every person."

The pieces are supposed to be both playful and symbolic, He said.

The carnival-like, childish elements — from dollar store toys to a rocking horse — are intended to make visitors nostalgic for the more innocent times of childhood.

All the edible items in the exhibit, which also features interactive toys, will be sweet to reflect the sweetness of childhood, said He, who worked on the exhibit with his girlfriend, artist Hu Naishu.

Being able to eat parts of the exhibit plays a role in the art, too, he added.

One piece is a gourd with long ropes coming out of it, representing a girl's first menstruation. A variety of dollar store toys and candy will be attached to the ropes, reflecting the loss of childhood.

Visitors are invited to eat the candy as a symbol of welcoming the woman as she is, He said.

"We want this show to let people accept each other," He said.

The show is free and will run for three hours on Friday, Feb. 20 starting at 7 p.m., at Ran Tea House, located at 269 Kent Ave. It is the first show for Avent Studio, which focuses on using food as art. You can RSVP here.