The Blog

The Magic of Childhood Remembered Through Edible Ingredients

This post was published on the now-closed HuffPost Contributor platform. Contributors control their own work and posted freely to our site. If you need to flag this entry as abusive, send us an email.

Yen Hoang, a food artist, an author and a businesswoman from Nha Trang, Vietnam, has come up with a creative way by creating edible pictures that inspire people to recall beautiful memories of their childhood.

With a strong passion for art, Ms. Yen Hoang, a creative director in the fashion industry, has found a source of inspiration from food to make up the materials and colors of her paintings. The amazing point is that her picture's main idea is about childhood memories.

Through a series of works, such as "Hide and seek", " Flying kite" and "Awaiting mom", she can magically take viewers right back to their childhood with sweet memories.

Hide and seek: This picture was created with the memories of this simple game. I closed my eyes and remembered the moonlight bathing us in its silvery light, illuminating our every step to our special secret place.

"The biggest inspiration for me, of course, is the world around me. I feel every existing beautiful moment in life. I am influenced by them. And I am also affected by my childhood memories - childhood friends, activities, fairy tales that my mother often told me as a kid - that I have always kept in heart until now and they become an integral part of my soul. So I draw my childhood as a way to preserve those precious memories. I feel very thankful to have had a childhood before technology such as smartphone took over," she says.

Each painting is meticulously nursed with careful chosen ingredients including those in daily meals such as: sweet potato, jam, fried potato, ham, jelly, green cabbage, purple cabbage, tomato, dill, cucumber, noodle, wasabi peas basil, etc.

Bedtime story: I grew up with Mom's melodic, soothing voice lulling me to a sweet peaceful slumber, reading fairy-tales and fables, bewitching me with visions of captivating people, places and things.

Looking at her stunningly beautiful food pictures, people don't think that this woman came to food art just by chance.

"Besides my work, with a role of a housewife - going to the market, preparing meals for family - I found food as sensual and profoundly emotional as any watercolor, pastel or oil medium. Then, an idea of using food to make pictures crossed my mind. I tried and was so excited with it." Ms. Yen Hoang reveals.

Her uniqueness and creativity have quickly drawn a great number of art lovers on Instagram as well as the mass media in Vietnam, that motivated her to create more attractive pictures and put them together into an upcoming book entitled "The Magic of Childhood Remembered Through Edible Ingredients", filled with photos that help bring the story to life.

My little friends: I wish I could return to my childhood to play with dolls. Things like that have forced me to make this picture.

Apart from the pictures of creative food art and famous childhood quotes that she would love to introduce, there is an interesting story behind this book. It's about an American veteran who has sent a gift to an artist in the country he once took part in a war - the Vietnam war - nearly 50 years ago. Yes, he is the one who wrote all the captions for the book.

"His name is Joseph Guglielmo, a brother of the renowned writer and filmmaker in New York, Angelo Guglielmo. His exquisite words make the book more meaningful. That's a very beautiful story I have had in my life I would love to share to the world," she says.

The special emotions towards her mom have also been conveyed through such food pictures as "Awaiting mom", "Bedtime story", "Measuring daughter's height", "Mom's love". When asked why she mentioned her mom in her pictures a couple of times, Ms. Yen Hoang says:

"I think, in everyone's childhood, we all have visual memory of our mother that carries all the beautiful moments of our childhood. Looking back on memories of my mother, a woman who struggled financially having had a hard time leaving, having tried to overcome amidst overwhelming obstacles, raising her six children to be good people... all I will never forget and has inspired me in my life and forced me to make these pieces of food art."

Her awe - inspiring food pictures have been created to help viewers find peace with obsessive childhood memories of the past. There's a healing power when a person can make peace with his or her childhood memories through edible ingredients. Let's enjoy a series of her works of food art that I hope will be a great gift for you- a gift that brings you back to the happy days of your childhood.

For more information, please visit her website:

Awaiting mom: The seemingly endless waits at my front door, for Mom to arrive from work,were always comforted by her radiant smile, which seemed to illuminate the whole street when she came into view.

The two friends: An idea crosses my mind during the breakfast this morning. The two pieces of sushi do look like the two wheels of the bicycle my best friend and I often ride through the village roads on the weekends. With my best friend riding on the back, we could cruise through our village filled with gleeful laughter and happiness.

I tied a string around the Moon:
I tied a string around the Moon...
And carried it around as my very own balloon
Until it tugged and flew away.
Oh Daddy! Come quick and make it stay!

Oh no! Math lesson!
I hang my head on my desk.
I can't understand these numbers on this test.
Someone please ring the school bell!
Oh! teacher I do not feel very well.

With a smile and a song: I must create my spirit screams! As I was preparing lunch, the celery evoked an image of Snow White happily walking through a forest so lust and full of life. Her friends gathered, and together, filling the silence with an enchanted melody. I am sure that the Seven Dwarfs, working in the mines, smiled as the tune drifted in.

When mom's away: Imagination is the most precious of traits one can possess.It enabled me to visualize the everyday biscuits into bamboo walls. How real they look!

When we were young...: The simple everyday food items are truly magical flying carpets, transporting one back to when the world was filled with wonder. And a simple ice cream cone, shared with a friend was worth more than all the treasures on earth!

Food art by Yen Hoang
Captions by Joseph Guglielmo

Popular in the Community