In an interview with Artnet News, Japanese artist Mika Ninagawa talks of her photography exhibition on the works of Van Cleef & Arpels.
When asked what people can expect of her collaborative photography exhibition with legendary jewelry brand Van Cleef & Arpels, Ninagawa said, "For this collaboration, we adopted a method of displaying a combination of my photographs of flowers alongside jewelry selected from and inspired by Van Cleef’s collections. Architect Tsuyoshi Tane designed the exhibition, and the installation, which makes use of lights and mirrors, is based on the concepts of kaleidoscopes and mazes. It’s reminiscent of a fantastical garden. When I thought about the brilliance of Van Cleef & Arpels’s jewelry, which so values nature, the choice of fresh flowers was quite organic. The brand has made the flowers’ short-lived beauty everlasting through their exquisite creations. I thought that the different senses of charm conveyed by each—the jeweled flowers, and the real, photographed ones—would play off each other nicely."
When asked about the atmosphere around her office and how she works, whether with music or not, Ninagawa said, "In my office, I listen to music and work in a relaxed atmosphere. When I’m in the studio shooting, I work with a sense of excitement and adrenaline."
Ninagawa was asked which of the latest art exhibitions made a lasting impression on her, to which she said, "I went to the Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo the other day to see the Tadanori Yokoo exhibition. I was inspired by the sheer volume of works and Yokoo’s almost obsessive creative drive."
When asked what part of her work she loves the most and what parts she hates, Ninagawa said, "For myself, I like works that are so full of passion that I couldn’t help but create them. Beyond that, I don’t care for works that are too logical, or that lack in emotion."
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When asked what she's looking forward to working on in her studio the next day, Ninagawa said, "I went to another prefecture by bullet train yesterday and took a lot of photos. Tomorrow I’m going to do final selects. I’m looking forward to it…but I’m also feeling overwhelmed."