天上掉馅饼 / Like Manna From Heaven is an art installation created by Han Zhang and Helen Yung for the event, Crickets On The Tip of Your Tongue, a Future Food Salon hosted by Alimentary Initiatives and Culture of Cities Centre.
Inspired by the Chinese expression 天上掉馅饼 (literally, pie from the sky, meaning “free and delicious food falling from heaven”), the installation invites viewers to contemplate gifts from above, and describe its taste and texture. Nature blesses us with so many “free and delicious” food alternatives. What does manna from the future taste like to you?
A collection of ancient Chinese poems in praise of food was selected and handwritten in Chinese calligraphy on over 100 feet of rice paper. The paper was then cut by hand to create organic forms reminiscent of baskets, fishing nets, beehives, chrysalises… To envision the future of food, sometimes we need to look to our past relationship with nature. How do we maintain our gratitude for nature and eliminate exploitation?
The artists invite you to contemplate the idea of “manna.” Imagine what manna from the future might taste like. Recall a gift of free and delicious food. Take a piece of rice paper. Write some words down (or draw!) to describe your manna – real, imagined, remembered, from the future…
Add your manna to the installation by threading your paper through the needle and hanging black string.
The act of writing itself is a form of meditation and contemplation – as you participate in this act, you join the artists in celebrating, reflecting and re-imagining Natureʼs gifts for our future.