Industrial designer Marco Villa Mateos has built the still life exhibit Ouroboros for Zafra Gallery in Mexico City. The term Ouroboros refers to the idea of the cyclical nature of living things and eternal return.

Mateo’s exhibit focuses on the dehydration of both plant and animal life, a process that has been vital to keeping civilizations alive during winter and droughts throughout history. To quote design website Yatzer, “Through the process of dehydration, food ‘matures’ and loses its water content resulting in a transformation of its texture, color and aroma. Essentially, in dying, it preserves itself and just like the cyclical existence of a phoenix, this ‘death’ results in something new.”

Mateos dries foods including garlic, herbs, ham, and chiles to display in his work. The artist on his objective for the project: “It is a metaphor of the pleasure of living surrounded by good taste and aroma, and, of course, great friendships. Without ostentation, it invites us to a ludic experience, full of singularity, that enjoys itself with simplicity, good food, and pleasant conversation.”

Click through the gallery to see the gorgeous still lifes from the Ouroboros series.

[via Yatzer]