Mariko Sumioka is one of the new, exciting, emergent contemporary art jewellery artists of the London art scene. She graduated with a First Class BA (Hons) from Edinburgh College of Art in 2011, and currently lives and works in London, UK.
Japanese by birth, she spent much of her childhood in Brazil. It was here that the seed of interest in becoming a jeweller one day was sown. Joining a local kindergarten, she was fascinated by the way her Brazilian friends’ all wore jewellery in gold and gemstones. Their small and sparking jewellery sparked her interest in jewellery. She began to imagine herself, sitting on the jewellery bench and making jewellery, although it was to take almost two decades before she embarked on her early inspiration.
After a degree in Economics, she rediscovered her childhood passion for jewellery and design, starting a part-time course in jewellery design & making in Tokyo. This course gave her a very thorough training in many traditional jewellery making techniques and metalwork. Confident that she wanted to pursue her new career, she applied and won a scholarship place in Autumn 2009, to study in Edinburgh.
She has always been interested in and inspired by the way in which human beings interact with nature; and how the man made contrasts with natural objects. Her visual and theoretical study of Japanese culture helped develop her work further. By looking at traditional Japanese architecture and the spirit of Zen, she understands more how the Japanese’ love of nature informs how they live within it.
Drawing is an essential part of her creative process, especially collaging. This technique also help her to break down her original thoughts into different ideas, and to find new ideas and designs by abstracting elements. The second technique crucial to her is enamelling with simple colours. This enables her to explore images of natural materials and textures which can be found in Japanese architecture.
- 2015 Winner of Jewellery of the Year, Collect, Saatchi Gallery, London,
- UK Runner up of 2014 Best New Design at Goldsmiths’Fair, Goldsmiths’Hall, London, UK
- 2012 International Presentation of Work & Market Development, Creative Scotland, UK
- 2011 Top six runners for best new designer of the year, New Designers 2011, London, UK