In a classic sense, the "art of sushi" lies in the skill of making a delectable morsel that causes people to want more of your creations. But here we are talking about visual art, which you can enjoy on the internet, where communicating taste is still in the future. That itself comes in two kinds: sushi (or in some cases, onigiri, or rice balls) that look like something artful besides sushi, and other foods made to resemble sushi.
Sushi comes in several different styles. Makizushi is wrapped into a cylinder, then cut into slices, which opens the door for creative visuals. Making makizushi art requires rolling each component of the artwork in just the right part of the cylinder to ensure uniformity in the roll. Comedian runnyrunny gives a pretty clear demonstration on how to make a panda face sushi roll in this video (NSFW language). Meaghan M. posted a slightly simpler tutorial that uses added carrots for the eyes, as shown in the picture above.
Artist Mayuka Nakamura created this imperial warship for her graduate work at the Aichi Prefectural University of Fine Arts and Music. It is part of an 11-ship series, all made from rice, nori, and seafood.
Star Wars Characters
Lydia McNabb made black and white rice balls into various Star Wars characters (Ewoks, Jawas, etc) with the addition of smoked salmon, nori, basil leaves, and other foods in the shapes that make them recognizable. The treats were for a Star Wars movie marathon she hosted.
Photograph by Robin Lee.
So a skilled artist can make sushi look like whatever they want to. There is another facet of sushi art: making other foods that look like sushi. This is "Peepshi," made with marshmallow peeps. And it does contain rice -in the form of Rice Krispies marshmallow treats! The instructions for making them are at Serious Eats.
Craftster member eggyolk put together Bento boxes of mini-cupcakes that look exactly like sushi. The rice you see is actually white sprinkles. Chopsticks and gummy fish added the finishing touch.
The only thing that Waffle Breakfast Sushi has in common with traditional makizushi is the part in which they are both wrapped into a cylinder and then cut -but that's what makes it look like sushi. The ingredients are waffle, fruit, and cream cheese. Yum!