When you see Kittiwat Unarrom driving a knife through a human face, the first thing you’ll do is call 911. But hold on, not just get. The Thai artist might look like a butcher at work, but he’s merely a baker, creating disturbingly lifelike human body parts in bread. Hands, legs, torsos, face – Unarrom replicates nearly all body parts and puts them out on display in the Body Bakery. This is the place where you’ll feel like a cannibal without even being one.
The son of a baker, Kittiwat had learned to bake when he was merely 10. But only bread wasn’t enough to spark his passion. He wanted to do something peculiar, something different. For this reason alone he started visiting forensic museums and studying human anatomy. Mixing his familial know-how with unconventional concepts, the artist has managed to leave an unflinching impression upon those who come across his artwork. Unflinching, disturbing and disconcerting.
It’s impossible to not, even for a moment, be slightly grossed out by what lies before this. And it is meant to; Kittiwat Unnarom expresses that bread is more than just bread. For him, this is a broader philosophy – through his sculptures he communicates his religious views; how transient bread, and in fact, life is, can be shown by these baked human breads.
One may now wonder how exactly Kittiwat is achieving such a feat by something as routine and mundane as bread. Let us first acknowledge that art lives in the mind and the heart, more than it does in the physical dimension. The medium, then, can vary. Dough is Kittiwat’s medium of choice – he can mold and shape bread any way he likes. For the gory ‘blood’ that coats his unsettling body parts, he uses a red glaze. Dried fruits like almonds and raisins give him the benefit of making out details like the eyes.
The sculptures are on display at Kittiwat’s family bakery. A few people have had the chance to taste the deranged human parts. With a ton of uneasiness, they went cannibal anyway, realizing upon tasting that these gruesome aspects of our own physicality that represent death and decay are, in fact, just pieces of bread.
These occasions are rare, though, and the sculptures are usually not for sale, except during art shows.
Would you dare to eat a human hand? A leg, or a face, perhaps?
Want your appetite back? Learn about these magically tasty bread lamps!