Kylie and Sukanto: A Collabogram of Myth and Modernity

by Lex van den Berghe

posted on 11-07-2016

Do mermaids take selfies? In our second installment of Collabograms (check out the first installment here), culinary artist Kylie and illustrator Sukanto merge their skills to create a playful and delicious piece of art – a towering cake topped with mythical mermaids…taking selfies.

Explore the mythical and modern masterpiece from our next pair of artists as they draw, design, and bake up some creativity with their “Mermaids Cake.”



These mythical creatures represent a lot of different themes for Kylie and Sukanto. Mermaids have fascinated humankind for centuries with their alluring beauty, unusual anatomy, and mild narcissism. For these reasons, the artists decided that mermaids would be the perfect subjects to sit atop the cake, their own edible island.

Meet the Artists




Inspired by the Ace of Cakes, Kylie Mangles says, “the first big carved 3D cake I created was for an online cake competition called Threadcakes. I made most of it up as I went along and now, when I look back at my crazy structure, it blows my mind that it even stayed together, but I won third place and I was hooked!” Since then, she has become a full-time culinary artist, finding inspiration from daily life, cartoons, and children’s books.



Sukanto Debnath says, “I always wanted to be a painter, a traditional easel painter. I was never good at anything else, so that choice was rather simple and clear.” But when he began studying fine art in school, he discovered a love for animation as well. Over time, his skill set evolved to include digital drawing, character design, and illustration.

Their Edible Piece of Art

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After the artists brainstormed and conceptualized the theme of the piece from halfway across the world, the creation began with Sukanto who sketched, designed, and illustrated the scene from his home in Szekesfehervar, Hungary. Then came the baking, which took place in Vancouver, Canada…

The foundation of the piece is a cake designed to look like a rocky resting point for the mermaids. Their island is a vanilla cake with sea salt caramel Swiss meringue buttercream and a sea salt chocolate ganache floating in a sea of isomalt, or beet sugar. The mermaids themselves are made out of modeling chocolate and are thoughtfully positioned together, while also clearly isolated from one another.

The separation between the figures is due to the absorbed (and perhaps obsessive) focus on their smartphones, unable to tear their gazes away from the reflections they see in the small handheld screens.

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Kylie and Sukanto have assured they are not passing judgment on the selfie trend or the general rise of technology. “This piece was intended to be delightful and not a criticism of any sort. Just a snapshot of daily life, more objective than opinionated,” Sukanto says. They have created an artistic representation of both the connectedness and isolation that technology has created worldwide as it has infiltrated every aspect of daily life. And it doesn’t hurt that it is delicious.

It turns out mermaids do take selfies. Check out Kylie and Sukanto’s takeover on our Instagram page and stay tuned for the third installment of Collabograms.


Topics: Creative Inspiration & Trends

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