On the occasion of the exhibition “TRIPTYCH: Life, Love, Death”, the blog of LA Joaillerie introduces the artists participating in the exhibition.
– How and why did you decide to become a jeweler ?
My grandfather was farming culture pearls in Ago bay, Japan. My mother started designing jewellery with his cultured pearls and sold them. This became her craft. I grew up surrounded by pearls. So it was quite natural for me to start making jewellery.
– What makes your work so singular ? How did you come, so to say, « to put life in boxes »?
I think that the figures made of thin gold wires are characteristics of my work. The stories and words engraved on my jewellery also make it different.
I grew up in Tokyo. It’s a big city. I used to like watching buildings through the windows of the train and imagining what kind of people were living there and what kind of life was going on inside these buildings. A building is a box. It’s inorganic. Yet people are living inside. I think it’s very interesting. Each building hides so many stories.
This is how I came up with this idea of setting up life in boxes.
– Would you consider yourself primarily as a story teller ?
I guess so.
– How would you analyze the evolution of your work since you began working and what is your primary goal ?
In the early period, the story was about myself. Then, I started representing people in public spaces. I wanted to depict the life that each of us is experiencing right now. I used to write the stories first, at the early stage. Now the process is different : I start with visual images then I write the story behind them. I don’t know where I am going, but what I always want to express is the daily life that you think is normal or this dream inside your heart, which is the most precious thing in the world, just like a jewel.
I think that what I create is very different from what other people do. It takes me a long time to achieve a piece. It has to be beautiful, both visually and spiritually, as a story, as a jewellery piece, and as an object.
I care about everything. So I can not create lots of works. Maybe three works per year. My wish would be to see my archive collections exhibited in a museum for a solo show. I would like people to take time to look at my work, to carefully examine it and let it enter their imagination. I guess that’s my goal.
– Besides your artist career, you make lectures on jewellery making at Jyoshibi University of Art and Design. Does teaching influence your creation and how ?
Not really. It’s a small class only in summer. I teach sculpture to major students. This course is an introduction to wax curving. I like talking with young people about their dreams, love and future. It’s more important for me to share ideas than only teaching techniques. I urge them to express “myself at the moment” into an artwork that they can exhibit on their finger. I want students to look inside their heart and to see what’s there. I wish my class would be a chance for them to take a closer look inside and think deeper about themselves.
– When starting a creation, do you usually consider the object as a piece you could wear yourself ?
– Do you think that jewellery is an object of contemplation or that it should exclusively be wearable?
For me, jewellery is an art which can travel on the body.
– Do you wear jewellery and do you remember the first jewel you wore ?
I wear my jewellery. My fist jewellery was an enameled Mickey mouse pendant that my mother offered me when I was 2 or 3 years old. I loved it and still have it.
– What do you dislike the most in jewellery ?
People think it’s jewellery, not an art.
– What do you think is the most challenging in creating jewellery today ?
The lack of young collectors.
– Do you favor any particular type of jewellery and why ?
To tell you the truth, I am not that much interested in jewellery… I wear jewellery because I am jeweller. But if I did not, maybe I wouldn’t wear jewellery.
– According to you, what is the aim and/or function of jewellery ?
I would like my jewellery to be a spiritual home for its wearer, a safe place where you can truly be yourself. Jewellery should be a means to bring beauty in people’s mind.
– What/who are your main sources of inspiration?
Music. Dream. Daily life.
– As a goldsmith and jeweller, educated in a certain tradition of jewellery making, what is for you the importance of skills and handcraft ?
I think skills are important. My work is completely handmade.
– How did you approach the subject of the Triptych exhibition ? What did you like about it ?
I liked the theme Love, life, death, because it relies with my own topic. But I had never tried to express the idea of death in my jewellery before. So it took me some time to think about it. I thought about the situations in which these events occur. And I realized that they all happen in beds. So I decided to express a woman’s life with beds, from birth to death.
– Can you tell us more about the piece(s) you have created ?
Human figures are made of 18 cts gold wires. But for the last box, the Death one, the main character is made of silver. Yet her soul, which is raised by an angel, is made of gold. When I thought about death, I didn’t consider it as an ending. I feel that life continues in a different level. This box is actually the clasp of the bracelet. When you open it, the soul and the Angel part are getting separated from the living part of the piece.
– What are you working on currently ? What’s your upcoming project ?
I am working on my solo exhibition at Mobilia gallery in Boston, USA and experimenting how to use porcelain in my jewellery.