March 17, 2009
Contact: Lora Constantine
Inachi Presents Avatar Nyotaimori on Second Life
Shakespeare, Second Life and Skin City, Second Life--In the midst of a virtual reconstruction of Shakespeare's Elizabethan England, an avant-garde virtual sushi restaurant named Inachi unveils its first gourmet dish. Dubbed "Nyotaimori," the platter features an artistic arrangement of finely-priced sushi adorning the nude avatar body of virtual celebrity Codebastard Redgrave. The sum of sushi prices on this Nyotaimori reaches at about L$1,000,000; its purpose is to be dismantled by its audience as every "edible piece" of this virtual culinary sculpture is sold off in a single fundraiser to benefit the SL Shakespeare Company. The presentation opens to the public at 1 PM PDT on Saturday, March 21st at the Blackfriars Theatre.
Not surprisingly, the prolific Ina Centaur is both the founder and artist of Inachi and its Nyotaimori. As with many of Centaur's projects, Inachi began as a hobby, "Inachi started out as a somewhat offbeat-obsessive project to document and semi-immortalize in virtual-world-3D, some of the sushi I've tasted. And then one day a friend showed me a picture of nyotaimori, or female body sushi. It all became clear to me that day--both the name 'Inachi' made sense, as well as how I might turn these sushi-Lego things I've created into... a feast for your eyes!"
Inachi in its most literal translation to Ina Centaur's native Mandarin Chinese means "Ina, go eat!" But, since Centaur's discovery of "female body sushi" last May, the translation, while still retaining its homonym, became 一拿吃 or, literally, "One Take Eat." Centaur explains its significance, "The translation sounds flip, but I think it's cool that the translation back to English also affords a theatrical pun. My SL Shakespeare Company project has been something I've been trying to raise funds for since its inception in 2007, and basically everything I do in virtual worlds goes to fund it. Also, I think the translation fits how we'll manage to present nyotaimori as a viable artform in a very material and commercial virtual world: people will simply take (pay) and eat each piece of artful virtual sushi goodness."
To Centaur, this Nyotaimori event is both art that represents Second Life, and a social experiment, "Art is essentially an interpretive representation of an object, in the general sense; in this case, the object is the virtual world of Second Life, and Nyotaimori is kind of like a satirical symbol of it. Inachi's Nyotaimori recasts a nude female avatar into both culinary and ethnic art via an artistic arrangement of sushi. The individual pieces of sushi are cast in a state that will soon dissipate, as each piece is taken, just as the artful sims of Second Life are dismantled due to the decree of limited resource budgets. The avatar in this avatar body sushi presentation is famous and has media appeal, just like how Second Life has it. But, the art lives in the manifestation of its sushi, just like how Second Life wouldn't be anything without its user-created content... The social experiment would be to see if people'd bite." Despite its novelty and representation, Centaur is uncertain but hopeful about Nyotaimori as a means to fund inworld art, "Most of my fundraising attempts in virtual worlds have failed miserably. I hope this one is different enough to meet its goal!"
On a happier note, when asked to comment on her choice of designating Codebastard Redgrave as her maiden Nyotaimori, Centaur comments, "I think Codie is incredibly sexy, and Second Life might find it interesting to undress the sushi off her--literally!"
About Inachi (一拿吃)
Inachi is a fictional restaurant set in the virtual world of Second Life. Ina Centaur, its founder and head chef-artist, serves hand-made virtual sushi with exquisite detail and care in performance art settings. Its main store is located in the underground metros of Skin City, Second Life.