The Foodie Space is a new interactive pop-up museum where the serial foodie photographer’s biggest fantasies come true. “Poking fun at society’s obsession with social media and food porn,” it's a place where visitors can get their fill and take larger-than-life snaps with giant food-themed exhibits.
Get wrapped up in an overflowing noodle bowl of pho, interact with colossal fries or find your tempest in a teacup in an oversized tea set. You can dip into a can of caviar with seven of your closest friends or turn yourself into your favorite pizza topping for a holiday photo that will top them all.
The exhibits are at the Pasadena Museum of California Art for a limited engagement and are created by various local artists, with an additional gallery featuring their other works.
Trinh Mai, who created the “All Pho the Love” pho-themed room, is a California-based artist whose work is driven by innovative narratives of storytelling. She’s a second-generation Vietnamese-American whose work retells history from her inherited memories touching on themes of war, migration and healing.
Mai’s installation was inspired by her family’s pho recipe and includes Sriracha bottles, noodles hanging from the ceiling and fabricated pho ingredients that allow guests to create their own custom recipe.
“As an immigrant from Vietnam, the pho room is a reminder of comfort food as my grandmother in Vietnam always made pho for me,” Mai tells L.A. Weekly.
“I remember a time when I sat at the dining table with my grandmother, Bà Ngoai. As we sipped on tea, she recalled her childhood memories. She described her mornings in Vietnam, walking with her sisters under canopies of bougainvillea on their way to school," Mai says. "To commemorate her cherished memory and my own memories with Bà Ngoai, hand-painted bougainvillea adorn the tea cups, inviting guests to sit down together and to think warm thoughts.”
Artist Julia Taft says her inspiration for the “Fries Before Guys” exhibit is her struggle with eating disorders and trying to adhere to society's standard of beauty.
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“Now when I go on dates, I always ask for fries as a reminder,” Taft says.
The Foodie Space at the Pasadena Museum of California Art, 490 Union St., Pasadena; thefoodiespace.com.