Photo/IllutrationMai Matsuura, right, and Minae Kamino peer out of a comic cutout featuring grilled squid in Nagoya’s Naka Ward. (Arata Namima)

  • Photo/Illustraion
  • Photo/Illustraion
  • Photo/Illustraion

NAGOYA--Head-in-a-hole cutouts of historical and fanciful figures, a feature of sightseeing spots and other venues of fun, are always good for a laugh and a memorable snapshot.

Now, students at HAL Nagoya College of Technology and Design have taken the concept a step further with cutouts of coffee beans, nostrils and even a warning sign typically found along mountain roads.

Their 19 wacky displays are being shown at the Nagoya TV Tower in the city’s Naka Ward through March 11.

Mai Matsuura, 20, designed a comic cut-out featuring a bowl of cooked rice mixed with “edamame” green soybeans.

“I was tucking into ‘gomoku gohan’ (rice cooked with tasty ingredients) during my summer vacation last year when I wondered what would it be like to have my face stuck in the ingredients,” said the second-year student at the vocational school’s Graphic Design Department.

In the end, she tried her hand at designing a cut-out board featuring a bowl of cooked rice mixed with edamame, figuring that so many ingredients would prove confusing.

“I want everyone to make facial expressions, imagining how the edamame beans would feel when they are eaten,” she added.

Minae Kamino, 20, also a second-year student in the same department, chose “yaki-ika” (grilled squid) as the theme for her project that featured two squid grilled over charcoal.

“I thought it could be funny when a blank-looking face is put in a stand-in since the squid looked blank,” she said.

For a sense of realism, Kamino actually grilled squid and photographed the result to work on her project.

“Initially, I used a frying pan to cook them at home, but the outcome was disappointing,” she recalled. “But when I borrowed a barbecue set from a friend to cook the squid over a charcoal grill, the result looked really tasty.”

Mio Sato, a college student who came from Toyota, Aichi Prefecture, with two friends, took pictures with all the head-in-hole photo boards on display at the venue.

“All of them are weird, but funny. Maybe I should use it for my profile photo of my Line account,” she said.

Admission to the exhibition is 500 yen ($4.70) for adults, 300 yen for elementary and junior high school students and free for preschoolers.