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Yoko Takirai

Yoko Takirai was born in Tokyo in 1971. In 1992 she worked in the graphic studio of Yuzo Yamashita in Tokyo. In 1994 she graduated in the States, taking a degree in history of art and foreign languages at the West Virginia University. Between 1994 and 1995 she worked in Tokyo, at the Museum of Japanese Literature. After this she moved to Florence where she studied at the “Le Arti Orafe” jewellery school. Here, in 1997, she obtained a diploma after having studied jewellery making, jewellery design, stone-setting and engraving. Later, again in 1997, she obtained a diploma in jewellery design from the Istituto d’Arte in Florence. The following year, again in Florence, she attended the gemology course run by Professor Borelli. Between 1998 and 2000 she taught jewellery courses at the “Alchimia” school, and was also assistant to Gianpaolo Babetto on the special course held in the same school. From 1988 to the present she has collaborated with Pietro Pellitteri, Art Director of Pellitteri Design, on the design and creation of new lines of innovative jewellery, elaborating the application of new techniques and the use of new materials. In 2002 she founded in Florence the contemporary jewellery company Takirai Design, creating ranges of jewellery that she presents in numerous shows in Italy and abroad. In 2007 three of her works became part of the collection of the Silver Museum in the Pitti Palace. Yoko’s jewels frequently conceal something unexpected. In wearing the rings that join two fingers, for example, we discover a surprising freedom of movement. Her necklaces, both three-dimensional and linear, reveal an unexpected softness. Her jewels are the expression of a new concept of space. In the forms that Yoko creates we can discern strong bonds with the Japanese tradition that go beyond “Japanism”. Her research thus succeeds in achieving clean forms and in harmonising elegance and comfort.