TAIPEI (CNA) — One of the winning entries in a recent design contest organized by Taiwan’s National Palace Museum is notable not only for its ability to appeal aesthetically to museum-goers, but also make their stomachs growl.
Wang Pei-en (王蓓恩) and Liu Chia-hsin (劉家欣) took home a top prize in the museum’s 8th “National Treasure Merchandise Design Competition,” for a grass jelly pudding modeled on — or rather, moulded into — a mountain peak depicted in a famous Chinese landscape painting.
The piece was one of 869 submissions to last year’s contest, in which artists used the museum’s Open Data image database to design pieces based on the theme “folk customs.”
Taking their inspiration from “Dwelling in the Fuchun Mountains,” a 1350 painting by Huang Gongwang (黃公望), Wang and Liu moulded the Jello-like Taiwanese dessert into a black mountain scene set in relief, which, when juxtaposed against the traditional cream topping, appears to tower above low-hanging white clouds.
In an interview with CNA, Wang, who is currently a student at National Taiwan University of the Arts, said the idea of using grass jelly pudding occurred to her because of the black and white color contrast, which is mirrored in many of the museum’s famous landscape paintings.
The 3D modeling was particularly challenging, Wang said, and required multiple drafts before she and Liu were able to successfully create something resembling a mountain landscape.
The merchandise design competition, which divided works into graphic art and household product categories, attracted a wide range of submissions, including household and electronic accessories, stationary, food packaging and even icons for the popular Line messaging app.
Ultimately, the judges awarded a total of seven prizes.
A National Palace Museum representative said that although 2019 was the eighth year the contest has been held, it was the first time the museum invited prize winners, judges and product developers to hold a work shop evaluating the market potential of the works.
The representative said the contest-winning pieces would eventually be available through the museum’s sales channels — which, thanks to Wang and Liu’s work, might be assumed to include the cafeteria.