Akiko Shinzato’s jewelry is more conceptual than it is practical, making for delicate pieces of art that adorn the body and face. The artist, based in Okinawa, Japan, first contemplated studying fashion, before coming across contemporary jewelry and studying jewelry design at Central Saint Martins (CSM) in London.
“I think jewelry is an interesting medium because it’s worn on a body,” she explained in an interview with wertn. “In my jeweler practice, I try to explore how a piece of jewelry can interact with human body and am always looking for new functions and new ways of wearing it. It’s exciting for me to create a piece of jewelry that can highlight and celebrate a part of your body which you never thought could be a piece of jewelry.”
In one of her latest collections, tagged aptly as “Self Confidence Boosters”, Shinzato created ironic pieces of jewelry that aim to do just that. “Making this collection, I imagined what might happen if Japanese education starts pushing student’s confidence at school,” she explained.
“This collection is a little bit ironic and shows Japanese inflexible education in a way. Although it looks like boosting and helping your confidence, the piece actually limits the body movements and forces you to be in a particular position.”
“It was made for an exhibition of art teachers in Okinawa,” she added. “The theme of the exhibition was ‘school’, so I wanted to make something related to Japanese education. Japanese people are usually shy and humble. I think it’s because we have a uniform education.”
Take a look at some of her creations (ironic and otherwise) in the gallery below.