Akiko Shinzato’s jewelry is meant as social commentary – conceptual pieces that question our ideas about beauty, rather than simple accessories. In one collection, Shinzato tackles people’s obsession with their appearances. In another, jewelry pieces are made to serve as ironic “self-confidence boosters” that hold your chin in place or crack a smile.
“We treat our appearances according to how we want to be seen by others and put this alternative veil of identity on the faces,” reads her website. “In other words, our appearances can be modified and manipulated as we wish.”
Her body modification pieces are thought-provoking, to say the least. “The material is not important,” she says in an interview with Cotonoha. “I usually begin with a concept, then create the design, and finally select the materials. While in school, I realized that I didn’t need to limit myself to a particular type of material. I wanted to broaden my horizons.”
“For me, jewelry that in one way or another connects with the human body is more than just ordinary jewelry,” says Shinzato. “You can touch it and enjoy it as conceptual art, or you can wear it as you would an ordinary piece of jewelry. This kind of jewelry is not merely placed on the body, but rather, becomes one with its wearer. Its conceptual jewelry. Its contemporary jewelry. “
Check out some of her work in the gallery below.