Shinji Nakaba | Pop-up

Artist Reception: Sat. May. 20, 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Torso Ring, carved shell, brass
Koganemushi (Scarab Beetle) brooches, polypropylene, stainless steel
Serpent Ribs, necklace, forged and formed stainless steel wire, 16.5″
Brooch, carved pearl, forged steel wire, 12″
Necklace, recycled aluminum, approx. 21″, 2022
You were my sun, brooch, carved shell, stainless steel pin
You were my sun, detail
Ikebana Earring, stainless steel
Ikebana Ring, stainless steel
Carved quartz ring, carved quartz, silicone, epoxy coated, steel
Small Garden, Brooch, recycled water bottle, black epoxy, steel pin
Small Garden, Brooch, recycled water bottle, green epoxy, steel pin


Gallery Loupe is proud to announce that Japanese jeweler Shinji Nakaba is a finalist for the prestigious Loewe Foundation Craft Prize 2023. The prize will be awarded on May 16 in Isamu Noguchi’s Studio at The Noguchi Museum, 9-01 33rd Road, Queens, New York. Along with Nakaba’s brooch, a multi-media exhibition of the thirty shortlisted works will be on display from May 17 until June 18.

Nakaba is best known for naturalistically rendered jewelry, particularly brooches and rings of shell-carved faces, figures, and body parts mounted in gold or silver, as well as leaves and flowers fabricated from repurposed aluminum cans and plastic bottles. He was featured in Ubui (First Time), a solo exhibition held at Gallery Loupe in 2021. 

Nakaba’s Loewe Foundation Craft Prize submission focuses on his most recent experiments using pearls. The idiosyncratic brooch, in the form of a thorn-studded rose branch made from tightly stacked pearls with prickly aluminum terminals, is part of a series that challenges our presumptions about this traditional jewelry-making material. Casting the pearl as an outlier, Nakaba aptly titled the series “How Dare Pearl?” By threading and carving such time-honored gems into rose branches, little fingers, slithery worms, etc., pearls become something unexpected, even alien. “It may be reckless and unsuitable for you,” Nakaba states, “but I think it’s a metaphor for the importance of boldly trying what you want to do in your life.” 

Nakaba began his unorthodox practice in 1974. And now, at the age of seventy-three, he is still a renegade making exactly what he pleases. Whether a disembodied breast of hammered aluminum that trembles when touched, an intricately carved pearl pendant depicting a skull, or a tendril-like brooch of densely wrapped steel wire sporting interchangeable bits of genuine flora, Gallery Loupe is honored to show Shinji Nakaba’s extraordinary work.

In celebration of his tribute, Gallery Loupe will hold a Pop-Up exhibition/sale of Nakaba’s jewelry on Saturday, May 20, from 6-8 pm.

Shinji Nakaba Loewe Foundation studio tour

Loewe Foundation Craft Price Exhibition

by exhibition