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Mai Shirato

Diploma Designer

Current
Freelancer
Education
Hochschule für bildende Künste Hamburg
Hokkaido University of Education
Birth
1979
Place Live
Freiburg Area, Germany


MY CREATION

As a Japanese living in a foreign land I am constantly involved in the translation of meanings between cultures.
In my three-dimensional work as well as in my method I focus on the themes of "food, clothing and shelter" ; these are the basic elements I work with and change in order to convey form and meaning. I work with two different basic definitions: one draws on design, the other one on fine art.

TWO DEFINITIONS

The purpose and use of design is a reflection of the society in which it is developed. Thus, to be successful, both its message and use have to be clea​​rly understood.
In other words, users must be able to discern the message intuitively, without relying on education or previously gained knowledge. The design itself must be comprehensible to the general public.

Fine art is also a means of individual expression that resonates with the larger society, yet it is difficult to read an artist's intentions at a single glance. The audience finds beauty in subjective and emotional expressions based on personal values and preferences. Interpretation is entrusted to the audience, as people understand a concept and read intentions on an individual basis. The object is also limited to specific spaces, such as art museums, where the environment itself aids in the audience's understanding of a work.

OWN UNIQUE IDENTITY

I was born in Japan, raised in the Japanese culture, and studied contemporary art at a university in Japan. Today, I live abroad and, thus have developed different aesthetics and values to those I knew while in Japan. There is still a degree of incompatibility between the European way of expressing oneself (which values logical thinking and a clear demonstration of feeling) and the customs that I have. There was a period during which I was troubled by this tangle of two cultures, especially as I moved through my art and design studies at a German university.
However, this conflicted relationship ultimately stimulated the development of my own unique identity. Without losing myself, or my sensibilities, I’ve developed a new means of communication that fuses various styles of thought.