/ Jiro Kamata:VOICES


Look at where we are today: in every aspect of design, high fashion, contemporary aesthetics and the digital frontier, the elements that so uniquely characterized the look and feel of the Y2K era have been freshly rematerialized. Vivid hues, metallic sheens, imagined functionality, amorphous shapes, and streamlined space-age optical fantasies are ever present once again. Jiro was there.
They evoke yesterday’s still not fully realized vision of tomorrow.

And like all the aforementioned pieces, they are also timelessly stylish: any of these bodies of work could have been a perfect fit for the spectacularly futuristic collections of Walter Van Beirendonck in the late 1990s (the most eccentric of the Antwerp Six) - but are also an effortless match for your pick of Maison Margiela’s Artisanal Haute Couture collections from 2017 to right now.

And for that, they are instant contemporary classics, dependent on no one period in time. I choose to compare Jiro’s opus of jewelry wonders to the most adventurous and stunning of high fashion, rather than to high art or academia, because frankly, it’s more fun. That is not to say of course that his work is not art (I will leave that to others to say anyhow, for they will). I just feel such distinctions are non-serving, often building walls around things that only exclude the gaze of newcomers to the field of Contemporary Jewelry. Jiro’s pieces are deserving and capable of hypotheticals far beyond the confines we are used to: a techno utopia, the creation of your digital avatar, as agents of self-actualization, in cyberspace or otherwise.

Jiro Kamata is both a minimalist and a maximalist. It is not a hard conclusion to draw that his work will define how the early 21st century will be remembered within the cult of Contemporary Jewelry - of which he is an elite.

- Kellie Riggs

Is it not the ultimate goal of fashion to become invisible? Indeed, a unique burden of our time is the constant exposure as a fashion object to scrutinizing eyes everywhere, often driving one to the paradoxical desire to disappear from any gaze altogether. The message echoes as if emanating from a house of prayer, from every street corner, every YouTube video, and without interruption: you must reveal your most intimate self; you must possess a unique self that is clearly defined for all to see! To flee this obsession of self-decoration, one may desire to be nothing at all – to lack any kind of outward appearance. One may prefer to withdraw from the playful intercourse of self-adornment – to become invisible, for a moment, or forever.

But is it even possible to become invisible? The physicists are skeptical. They insist that if the whole body could be made invisible by a magic potion, as in The Invisible Man by H. G. Wells, at least the eyes would still need to remain visible; otherwise the retina could not absorb the light at all. Consequently one would not be able to see anything for oneself. Perfect invisibility would therefore inherently entail the invisibility of the outside world.

A camera lens acts not only as a testimony to the extraordinary technical developments of our industrial era, but is also the object that most resembles the human eye. The expectation here is utmost transparency – and thereby visibility.

The pure light is split and divided by being seen. Thus, can our eye make things visible to us in an illusory way because it is based on partial blindness.

This complex interplay between exclusion and inclusion, seeing and blindness raises the question: How do we want to see, and how do we want to be seen? What does it mean to remain unseen in the midst of the tyranny of the hyper-visibility of today's world?

- Sool Park

Yaman Shao, Director, ALIEN Art Centre

Yaman Shao, Taiwan
Otto Künzli, Switzerland
Makiko Akiyama, Japan
Kellie Riggs, USA
Levi Higgs, USA
Sool Park, South Korea

Jiro Kamata, Munich
Studio Amanda Hass, Berlin

Concept and graphic design/
Studio Amanda Hass, Berlin
assisted by Mira Walthert

Printed by/
Gallery Print, Berlin

Photo credits/
Gesa Simons
Mirian Künzli
Masayuki Nagata
Jiro Kamata

Exhibition coordination/
ALIEN Art, Kaohsiung

in collaboration with/
Bayerischer Kunstgewerbeverein e.V., Munich

Exhibition design concept/
Jiro Kamata

Exhibition video/
Tomohiro Akiyama, Japan
Jun Watanabe, Japan

ISBN 978-3-89790-577-1
Made in Germany, 2019

©ALIEN Art & Jiro Kamata Studio

Nano Pulgar with Palette Brooch, 2018, courtesy of Jiro Kamata

Dichroic filter, Corian, blackened silver, brooch, 2015, courtesy of Jiro Kamata_1

Dichroic filter, Corian, blackened silver, brooch, 2015, courtesy of Jiro Kamata

©ALIEN Art & Jiro Kamata Studio

©ALIEN Art & Jiro Kamata Studio

Portrait 2015, Andrea Sterr with BI Necklace

Necklace, 2013-2015, Dichroic filter, blackened silver

©ALIEN Art & Jiro Kamata Studio

©ALIEN Art & Jiro Kamata Studio

©ALIEN Art & Jiro Kamata Studio

©ALIEN Art & Jiro Kamata Studio