I recently discovered the work of Yuki Haze on Instagram, where she often posts images of her painted jackets and clothes, or handmade jewellery. I am interested in the somewhat homemade and naive aesthetic that she employs when creating her jewellery, using materials and motifs or slogans from life that elevate a sense of the haute contemporary in her work. She often uses pre-existing branding, such as with the ‘IKEA bum-bag’ or the ‘Mercedes Necklace’ which elevate the branding beyond a place or an item into something to be desired beyond the item, the brand becomes the element the purchaser/wearer of the jewellery wants to own, in an elevation of capitalist values and celebration in creating commodities. Thus, I feel Haze’s work has a distinctly contemporary feel around it – in a world where image is everything, the elevation of branding to its natural extent becomes a necessity; it is not merely enough to have travelled to IKEA, but one must own something from IKEA in order to prove, at first, that they definitely travelled their, but secondly, they expanded their patronage beyond mere items in the store but rather to a piece of the store itself, recapturing the name into a piece of jewellery which creates a further sense of reverence around the brand – an almost sacred and precious elevation of the meaning of such.
In addition, I am also interested in the way that Haze uses pre-existing materials to create her jewellery, such as keyrings and wallet chains, as well as the way she personalises pre-existing items, using distinct painted motifs of women. Her recycling of objects and creation of something new creates a very tactile feel to her work, as one feels it is distinctly ready to hold, and as such something has revered as jewellery has become equalised by visibility of its making in the final outcome of the piece. One does want to own these items, but not as a piece of jewellery with an inherent financial value persay, but rather for their purely aesthetic value. This focus on the aesthetic deliniates a wider focus on just the aesthetic present within contemporary society, with not such a focus on value, but rather pure aesthetic form in order to create ‘successful’ contemporary aesthetic imagery.
I am very interested in the way that Haze uses found materials and branding in her work, as I feel when thinking of creating a shop for the survivors of a nuclear fallout shelter, whereby the rich could maintain a sense of contemporary capitalist consumer normality, one would have a limit to materials. Spaces and materials to creat fine jewellery would definitely be limited, and so one would have to sell what one could make from what surrounds them – namely found objects. I am very interested in adopting some of the aestic principles Haze uses in her designs, in order to create jewellery which is at once desirable, yet distinctly tactile and handmade. I like the idea of transforming an object from something of use, namely a keyring, to something purely for aesthetic, particularly within the realm of the fallout shelter shop, in which aesthetic should not be valued over survival, but if it becomes so, it would mirror the lost society that once was. I would like to create some jewellery inspired by the work of Haze and her use of branding and material in order to sell in my imagined underground retail space.