Have you ever watched a candy being turned into a dragon or Pokemon in front of your eyes?
That is the unique opportunity you have at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC) halls where the 20th edition of Abu Dhabi International Hunting and Equestrian Exhibition (ADIHEX) is underway till Friday, September 8.
Japanese candy artist Takahiro Mizuki is spinning jaw-dropping designs of candy live at ADIHEX using the traditional Japanese candy art called Amezaiku. What is more, visitors can get one of their own absolutely free at the JODCO stall in Hall 9.
Candy art is a traditional Japanese folk art of sculpting candy into a variety of shapes as animals and other characters. The candy is softened by heating it and then sculpted using bare hands and traditional scissors.
“It is almost like magic,” said Mariam, who was waiting in line to get her candy. “I have been watching him making it for at least four people ahead of me, but I can’t take my eyes of it. It is really magical.”
However, getting your hands on these candy forms is not that easy. There are time slots three times a day during which coupons are handed out to the first 20 people there. There is a limit of one candy per person.
Making the candy
Takahiro Mizuki is a master of this hundreds-year-old art form and can sculpt an object like a bird, dolphin and other characters, in less than 3 minutes, before the candy gets hard.
He keeps the candy dough in a wooden box and then shapes it into a ball. Then, with a snip of his scissors, he shapes the dough into various characters before drying it with his little fan.
For team KT, he crafted an intricate dragon, which is the most delicate of his creations. Here is a video of how he made it:
“The first time I saw someone doing Amezaiku, I just stood and watched for 5 hours straight,” said Takahiro. “I was mesmerized. After watching for a few months, I decided that I also wanted to try doing it.”
That was 23 years ago. Since then, Takahiro has toured various parts of the world and demonstrated his skills to people. “I have been coming to Dubai for 15 years now,” he said. “I love what I do. I love watching the amazed look on people’s faces when they receive a candy. It is the best feeling in the world.”
It is believed that Amezaiku originated in the 8th century. During the Edo period from 17th to 19th centuries, craftsmen showed their making performance on streets, and it was a form of entertainment enjoyed by common people.
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