26 May 2020

Masahiro Nakata, Japanese contemporary jewellery artist | Taking The Road That Few People Take


As we begin 2020, we begin to have a clearer understanding about the global environment that uncertainty is normal, and we do not know what will happen next.  


Japanese jewelry designer Masahiro Nakata was inspired by these strange times to create a conceptual piece of jewelry titled “Vulnerability Vulnerability”. The virtual sculpture is influenced by facial masks that have become symbols of the pandemic. 

Masahiro’s endless curiosity guides him to create seemingly impossible jewelry creations to create amazing one of a kind designs.   

 01 - A designer who does not understand programming is not a good photographer

Masahiro studied at Osaka Prefecture University in Japan. He majored in science, engineering, and calculator science. He is a professional programmer.

However life happened, and after graduation he became fascinated with jewelry design, such as wax molding and making silver jewelry. Therefore it was when he was 22 years old that Masahiro created his first piece of jewelry.

The journey for an individual to find their own style can be long and endless. Thankfully after studying at Dusseldorf University of Applied Sciences in Germany, as well as many years dedicated to experimenting with jewelry and design, Masahiro has finally established his own design voice—    

1.Using 3D CAD and other software to design,  

2.Control parameters with computer programs,  

3.three-dimensional printing and casting processes, 

4.Finalize the art work.

“When I design jewelry I always create wearable pieces of jewelry. I focus on the design more than the process. Now I use computers with linear design concepts, but whenever I work with my hands or just use my imagination than my designs go through an unexpected process”, he said.

Due to his special technique and creation method, Masahiro’s jewelry is made up of many points and lines that when aligned together create unique and ingenious combinations.

One of his most famous designs is the Yoyo Swan pendant. The elegant piece of jewelry demonstrates his confidence with materials, imagination, and understanding of geometrical proportions in forms. The metal finish is polished by hand, only further enhancing the artistic simplicity of the pendant.

Organic forms are popular in his jewelry designs. He has studied tropical plants and different types of natural organisms. He is also interested in genetic engineering. Masahiro copied the natural flora and fauna into algorithms to use digital technology to create unique works such as the pendant called Natural Growth.

Masahiro also researches different fields to continuously challenge himself as designer, and if he encounters a problem can learn from the situation and resolve it successfully. He is determined to keep learning and solving problems—he even built his own 3D printer from scratch which is something he is very proud of!

He spends most of his time designing and researching for new jewelry collections. When he is not working though he enjoys being behind the camera, for he is an avid photographer and in his down time likes to take a camera, record what he sees, and discover new things. 

 02 - Taking the Road That Few People Take

In Japan it is difficult to find jewelry designers who share similar design aesthetics with Masahiro, for his body of work is inspired by artificial intelligence, science, and experimenting with different materials. Therefore his design style is very niche.

“For 10 years, I have been working in a studio in Osaka. Various tools and instruments are available in the workshop, because I am not only a jewelry designer, but also a jewelry manufacturer and entrepreneur.   

I founded my own original jewelry brand-MN, with the purpose of designing distinctive products. My jewelry is not suitable for everyone, so there is no mass market considerations, but I believe my design can attract some customers who pursue unique designs”.

The MN jewelry brand is not commercial, and this may be due to its creator. Masahiro’s personality is gentle, quiet, and like a teacher he is reserved when speaking in person.

Masahiro has been looking for different channels to showcase his jewelry to potential customers. He even sent the work to American singer Lady Gaga through online platforms! He believes that his work is magnetic and can attract special people who really love the unique designs. 

In 2019 he made a very important decision- he decided to leave Osaka and his workshop there, and go live temporarily in Hong Kong as a designer-in-residence at Loupe at PMQ. The residency is under the mentorship of Chow Tai Fook Jewelry Group, and aims to enhance design creativity and build a platform for international designers to come together and communicate with the public.

With the resources provided by Loupe and Chow Tai Fook Jewellry, Masahiro has met more people who are inspired by his design philosophy. His personal brand MN is now expanding into overseas markets like Greater China (Lanzhou, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Shunde), as well as Hong Kong.

2019 was a very special year for Masahiro for he received many recognition for his jewelry and expanded his presence in Asia.

At the 2019 China Jewelry Show in Shangai, Masahiro received positive feedback and popular attention. He received many orders in person which was a great success!

Loupe’s Linging Silk Road project was very challenging for Masahiro, because he was not familiar with the Don Huang and Lanzhou local cultures. However he was motivated by these challenges, and this inspired him to create the Pink Horse for the jewelry exhibition. This piece of jewelry was one of the most high-profile works and every collector at the fair wanted to buy it for themselves. 

Masahiro also won the 2nd China Jewelry Design Tian Gong Award.

 03 - Live slowly, create slowly

Masahiro has been making jewelry for over 10 years now. He has an endless curiosity that keeps him inspired to take on new challenges. Anything can be part of his material library, for his imagination is limitless and the production methods he mastered on the computer gives him amazing resources. 

Being able to stand confidently alone is not always easy. For Masahiro there is a certain kind of quiet power, so no matter the challenges that might arise he is always ready to take them head on.     

Q:Why choose jewelry design after graduation?    
A:My father is an excellent jeweller. After graduating from college, I enrolled in the Goldsmith Department of the Itami College of Jewellery  and my father died a year after enrolling. When I am creating my jewellery, I seem to be relaying my father's job.

Q:What did you get to participate in Loupe "Resident Designer Program"?  
A:In the past 4 months, I have spent all my creative time to Loupe. Since I spent most of my time working alone in Japan, the biggest challenge for me is to work and concentrate in an open working space. This program has made me meet many interesting new friends from all over the world. This opportunity is rare. 

Q:What is your next plan?   
A:I don't define myself as a fine jewelry designer. In the future, I will strive to use 3D printing technology to print metals directly to develop more mixed-media designs. In addition, I will cooperate with more teaching to share my creativity and 3D printing technology to more students and industry insiders.

Q:What kind of person do you want to be?    
A:It would be the best if I can reached at Chen Shi-ying master level (laughing), he is a master of jewelry art that exerts the craft of jewelry to the extreme. I hope that one day my design will reach its extreme.    

 Source: NEWS Weekly 3/31