Yoko Shimizu

In one of our many browsing days searching for unexpected beauty, we came across the work of Yoko Shimizu, a former student of the renowned Alchimia Jewellery School in Florence who is currently still living and working also in the same Italian city. A very interesting body of work we must say. It is not that the overall look and feel is something that we might call new (when that matters), it is that there is a subtle conceptual element very worth noticing and that in our opinion fades the boundaries here between jewellery and the visual arts. We are talking about the golden strokes that happen throughout the Arno at Night collection, paradoxically counterbalancing and simultaneously reinforcing the silent aesthetic shown here if we can name it so. Without such a detail, the pieces would be maybe one more experiment in building geometries that are relatively common to find in contemporary jewellery resonant perhaps from past minimalist sculpture approaches. However, the reduced and playful use of the gold layers gives first of all a fragility and lightness to the pieces that a metal per se wouldn’t be able to convey but as well a thinking thread that we loved to follow.

Echoing the reflections of the lights on the Arno River by night in Florence, Yoko Shimizu writes:

” The river becomes a mass of black emptiness reflecting the city lights. The golden reflection on the dark surface glimmers and wavers with the current, never completely still. It is ephemeral yet consistent. It never seizes to change. It reminds me of golden brush strokes that reflect the moment. Each stroke has its momentum and energy that cannot be repeated.”

Notwithstanding the consistent appearance that critics and buyers enjoy falling in love with, there is a sort of a reading sequence of the collection that makes it so wonderfully fresh. What begins to be a simple gesture of strokes of gold, gradually acquires more of an autonomous dimensionality soon to be incorporated into the metal structures itself. Scale, lenght and position diversify as the thin gold layers gain a life of themselves, comparable to the shift from night to day which slowly and profusely expands the sunlight into a wider and more present state of being. Lovely conceptual work.

Shown below, all images from the Arno at Night collection.

Bracelet – Silver and fused gold sheet.

Necklace – Silver and fused gold sheet.

Earring – Silver and fused gold sheet.

Bracelet – Silver and fused gold sheet.

Bracelet – Silver and fused gold sheet.

Earrings – Silver and fused gold sheet.

Rings – Silver and fused gold sheet.

Necklace – Silver and fused gold sheet.

Necklace – Silver and fused gold sheet.

Necklace – Silver and fused gold sheet.

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