The Japanese edition of The People's Pantry is a collaboration between myself and Arisa "Ris" Isayama Slutsky, founder of MTN Cooking Studio in Los Angeles, California.
Ris is Japanese, immigrating to the US for school at the age of 19. Growing up, food was a big part of her upbringing – her mom was a wonderful cook and her father owned a chain of izakaya restaurants, despite not being a chef himself. When Ris had her own son two and a half years ago, cooking Japanese food became a way to give her son a sense of identity, being half Japanese in America. Along the way, her passion for sharing the knowledge and stories around Japanese food has grown, and now she uses MTN Cooking Studio as a way to celebrate and share her Japanese heritage through virtual cooking classes.
$20 from every print sold will be donated to Asian Americans Advancing Justice – LA, the nation’s largest legal and civil rights organization for Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders (NHPI) serving more than 15,000 individuals and organizations every year.
11" x 14" Risograph art print, printed on 65# cream stock. Each art print will come as a signed edition. Printed in the USA.
The People's Pantry is a project that explores immigration through food. You could say that food is one of the foundations of culture – everyone's gotta eat, and often the most approachable way to share culture is through cuisine. But food is something that so many of us take for granted. The availability of "American staples" like ketchup, Wonderbread, potato chips, and the like are almost a given at any American supermarket. For many immigrants, refugees, and their families, however, finding the products we grew up with is a taller order. We do not see these products lining the shelves of our local Safeway or Cub, but instead in the family-owned specialty markets tucked away in cities across the country. Depending on where you live, these sauces or snacks or seasonings can sometimes feel like rarities – elusive products that you have to make a special trip for, but the comforts they bring are immeasurable.
The People's Pantry began as a way to illustrate the foods that I grew up with in my Filipino-American household. But everyone who is part of a diaspora has their own version of this illustration. With this series, I hope to capture some of those stories by partnering with individuals who have their own unique relationships with the foods of their cultural heritage. $20 from the purchase of each print in The People's Pantry collection is donated to the non-profit of my collaborator's choosing.
"Risograph is a print process which combines the best of digital and traditional print: a hand-made look and feel with the speed and efficiency of a modern printer. Risograph ink is made from a combination of environmentally friendly soy oil, water and pigment, the prints are reminiscent of newspaper ink and it is possible to smudge the ink. Riso is like screen printing in that each ink color is layered on separately. A single piece of paper will run through our machines several times for multi-color projects and the overlap of colors can be irregular." – Risolve Studio