Japanese artist Asagi Maeda illustrates stories of everyday life in her jewelry. In her work, she creates small boxes as windows into “the lives of strangers” — vignettes of ordinary life. Small metal human figures are the players in these boxed scenes. By wearing a piece of Maeda’s jewelry, you participate in these tiny strangers’ worlds and can think and feel with them. Describing 12 Months on the Cherry Street, she wishes the viewer to know that cherry blossoms are special to the Japanese, and this necklace represents life under those trees throughout the course of a year.” Each resin section depicts a month of the year, moving from January to December clockwise from the title-bearing clasp. In these vignettes, Maeda shows the changing foliage of the cherry trees with people engaged in seasonal activities from picnicking beneath the pink March cherry blossoms to pushing a stroller on a green summer walk. Between each resin scene are the words and then, noting how time passes and nature changes.
Maeda holds a BFA in sculpture from Tokyo Zokei University along with degrees in gemology from the Gemological Institute of America and in jewelry making from the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York. Since 2007, she has been lecturing on jewelry making at Jyoshibi University of Art and Design. Maeda has been featured in numerous solo and group exhibitions in Japan and all over the United States. Her work is in private and public collections around the world, including the permanent collections of the Museum of Arts and Design in New York and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.