Akiko Shinzato’s Jewelry Will Make You Question Your Ideas About Beauty

Akiko Shinzato’s jewelry pieces are someplace in between conceptual art and body modification. Meant as social commentary, her accessories question our ideas about beauty and the way these ideas inform our understanding of our social environment.

“For me, jewelry that in one way or another connects with the human body is more than just ordinary jewelry,” Shinzato relayed in an interview with Cotonoha. “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.”

In one of her series, for example, jewelry pieces are made to serve as ironic “self-confidence boosters” that hold your chin in place. “I usually begin with a concept, then create the design, and finally select the materials,” she said, talking about her creative process. “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.”

Her manipulation and modifications are food for thought in an age that’s obsessed with Instagramable beauty.