Why did Crane-man say that Min's wife was an artist in A Single Shard?

Crane-man says that Min's wife is an artist because of the wonderful dishes she prepares. Although the meals are simple, they never fail to delight Crane-man, who finds the combinations of food that Min's wife prepares to be nothing less than a work of art.

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Tree-ear is able to bring his protector, the old vagrant Crane-man, half of the meals prepared for him by Min's wife. Tree-ear has got himself into a routine whereby he wakes up early in the morning, works for Min, eats half his dinner, does some more work, and then returns to the bridge, where he gives Crane-man the other half of his dinner.

Tree-ear carefully protects the food he's going to give Crane-man from animals by hiding it in a hollow that he's dug out of a far corner of Min's yard. The plan works. The first time Tree-ear hides the food in the yard, he's pleased to see that it's completely untouched and can be taken to Crane-man for his supper.

The food is gratefully received by Crane-man, who opens the gourd parcel in which it's contained as if it were a gift of royal jewels. Although the food that Min's wife prepares is very simple, Crane-man enthuses over it as if were a gourmet meal. He proclaims that the woman is an artist due to her imaginative combinations of food. The dish of bean curd with cucumber kimchee that Tree-ear gives him is, according to Crane-man, a truly felicitous combination.

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