Texture, Form, and Light

The Jewelry of Yasuki Hiramatsu

Yasuki Hiramatsu. Photo by Miriam Künzli

Born in Japan, Yasuki Hiramatsu was the son of a renowned metalworker and studied metal design at the Tokyo Fine Arts School. Hiramatsu became a pioneering figure of contemporary jewelry in Japan, a country with a long-standing tradition of clothing being the primary form of bodily ornamentation. His exploration and re-interpretation of traditional metalworking skills led to stunningly simple, pure, modern pieces of wearable art. At once delicate and sculptural, his jewelry has an ancient quality and an innate warmth and beauty that comes alive when light plays across the surface. Hiramatsu quickly gained recognition for his exquisite creations and his work was exhibited widely beginning as early as 1964 at the special show Schmuck und Gerät at the Internationale Handwerksmesse in Munich. 

Hiramatsu went on to receive numerous awards and, in 1994, became the first non-European to receive the Golden Ring of Honor from the Gesellschaft für Goldschmiedekunst in Hanau. Other honors included the Japanese Good Design Award, the Craft Center Japan Gold Prize, and the Bavarian State Award, to name but a few. He also enjoyed a prestigious career as a professor at the Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music as well as the Director of the Japan Jewellery Designers Association. His work is held in many important collections including the National Museum of Modern Art in Tokyo, the Kumamoto Prefectural Traditional Crafts Center, Die Neue Sammlung in Munich, Schmuckmuseum Pforzheim and the Victoria & Albert Museum in London.

We are delighted to be the first American auction house to present Yasuki Hiramatsu’s jewelry.

The metals which I mainly use are also like living things...when I make a piece, I play, worry, struggle with it and encourage it.

Yasuki Hiramatsu