Individualism within Diversity
Kūkai (a Japanese Monk, 774-835) once said, "Envy stems from the view that you and others have different existences. If you come to see that you and others are the same, envy will disappear and your mind will find peace; you will then be able to sincerely embrace the good deeds of others."
When viewing others as you view yourself, as people who have also struggled to survive, your envy will change to respect. When you are able to eliminate the differences between others and yourself without feeling envious, you have accepted diversity.
To know others, you need to know yourself. By understanding your origin and recognizing that you are also diverse, you open the door to "feeling confident about yourself."
Different people have different triggers for confidence, but just wearing a tiny piece of jewelry may change your feelings. I am fascinated by the power jewelry can have.
Jewelry is neither protective nor a convenience but can be used to express identity (individual integration, character, or a sense of belonging) in a society that requires a constant mingling with others.
Decorativeness, the value of raw materials, the value of the time and skills needed for production, the origin of the motifs, and the popularity of the artists all add to the social meaning of jewelry. Wearing jewelry is a code that indicates the integration of the self and reflects how you see yourself.
We have been using jewelry as a tool to express ourselves; however, at some point in our lives, we seem to have given up exploring ourselves and have being using jewelry only as a tool to fit others' perceptions or images. Therefore, when I see mass produced jewelry which is sold only as a fashion item, I find it very difficult to discover the original self in the jewelry or discover the self through the jewelry.
I am hoping to walk away from the function that such jewelry has and instead wish to provide jewelry that stimulates you and helps you become aware of yourself, your body, your actions, and the changes in your moods.
Photo: Yosuke Demukai
Naoko Ogawa is a Berlin based jewelry artist.
While Ogawa has released her jewelry collection "Drawing," she has also expanded her artistic elements using jewelry to express art.
The photos are from the photo collection project, which uses lights as jewelry: "Jewelry Hunting." （http://www.jewelryhunting.com）