Cynthia Chen, a Chinese-American designer, recently shared a series of handmade “Asian snack rugs” on Twitter, incorporating Yakult and shrimp crackers into the design that evokes childhood memories for her Asian fans.
According to Vice, Chen, who lives in San Francisco, picked up a new hobby — hand-knitting rugs — during her quarantine last year.
Last September, she attempted to make a rug that looked like a can of Spam. When she shared the photo of the self-made rug on social media, it immediately attracted a lot of attention.
Asian snack rug series so far! 🙆🏻♀️ Trying to decide which snack to do next… pic.twitter.com/CvjsKm5deg
— Cynthia Chen (@yescynfria) December 7, 2020
In an interview with Apartment Therapy, Cynthia said that Asian snacks always brings back memories of her childhood.
She said: “After the Spam rug was done, I was hooked.”
💦💦Pocari sweat – It’s the quenchiest!💦💦 This rug is ~12” by 29” and is sealed with a nonslip backing ✨ pic.twitter.com/7XFRRGD5TL
— Cynthia Chen (@yescynfria) January 18, 2021
She explained that her parents are both from China, and when she was growing up they would take trips to China, visiting her relatives and grandparents at least once a year.
The report said that Cynthia’s mother was an excellent cook and she often went shopping with her mother at the local Asian grocery store, which gave her more opportunities to taste various Asian snacks.
However, making a rug is not only time-consuming but also takes a lot of hard work. She shares that each mat took an average of 15 hours, but she insists on hand-knitting instead of using the machine.
She found the making process quite therapeutic.
Later, Chen shared her homemade rugs including Yakult, Calbee shrimp chips, and a Pocari Sweat, which won wide acclaim.
Cynthia created an online store, selling her food-themed self-made rugs, each priced at US$888 (NT$24,841).
The handmade rugs have been sold out as of press time, but Cynthia also offers customized service to make unique rugs for customers.