Women who shine for our future #31

Mio Tsuchiya, Confectionery Artist

Spreading the Joy of Art through Cinema-Inspired Sweets

Like nougat that resembles scrap paper or ramune that looks like pebbles, the sweets of “cineca” that take inspiration from cinema are delicate with a nostalgic dagashi-like feeling. Mio Tsuchiya, who is in charge of everything from planning to creating and designing packages for the sweets, recalls, “I feel I’ve finally found my place after starting cineca.”

She had always been sensitive and felt uncomfortable at school and at home. Even after working as a graphic designer, that discomfort did not disappear. Tsuchiya noticed that she had begun stocking up on sweets due to stress from her busy schedule and working all night.

“I’ve loved making sweets since I was a kid. I thought, if I use a form of expression that I am comfortable with, I might be able to bridge the gap between ideals and reality.”

She left her job and studied the basics at a confectionery school. She originally liked movies and watched about 500 films a year. That led to her style, where she expresses her sentiments of a movie through sweets.

“Interest in the world of art and design still seems limited to a small population in Japan. However, I felt there was a chance to connect more people to the art and design culture with sweets.”

Tsuchiya has found comfort in “cineca”, but she also isn’t fixated on it. She believes it is important to keep growing as the times change and consistently try to perform at your highest ability.

“Looking back on history, I think that if we cling to life too much, we kill our society. I hope that we instead choose to protect our culture, and I know that creating it would bring me joy.”

Tokyo native Mio Tsuchiya, born in 1984, graduated from Tama Art University. In 2012, she launched “cineca”. Her work is sold through various events and special exhibitions.

2. Palette-shaped ginger cookies aptly titled “Palette”, inspired by the movie Séraphine.
3. “Nude”, inspired by the film Shijin no Chi, is a vanilla-scented white nougat in the form of crumpled paper.
4. A notebook where she lists movie titles for different motifs such as ‘ice cream’, ‘rain’, and ‘euthanasia’.
5. “All or Nothing”, a chocolate candy that resembles plastic trash found on a beach.