Food performance artist Ayako Suwa takes the idea of eating your feelings literally.

She harnesses emotions such as anger, happiness, jealousy or remorse, translating them into food to develop sensory culinary experiences unlike any other. Each plate Suwa creates embodies her motto, “To eat is to live, but to taste is to evolve.” It’s a concept she has been exploring since childhood, long before articulating it in 2013 at TEDxTokyo.

Born and raised on the Noto Peninsula in Ishikawa Prefecture, her native landscape was mountain forests ringed by the sea. Her imagination roamed over every rock, crevice, shoreline and tree trunk, leading her to create fantastic stories centered on food.