Since 1974, artist Japanese Shinji Nakaba has been experimenting with skulls and other anatomical forms, creating ‘wearable sculptures’ like rings and brooches out of precious metals and stones as well as unconventional materials like aluminum cans, plastic bottles and other found objects. According to The Independent:
Many of his skulls are inscribed with the word ‘vanitas’ — the Latin word for ‘vanity’ and a type of symbolic work in the 16th and 17th centuries that drew attention to ‘the meaninglessness of earthly life and the transient nature of all earthly goods and pursuits’. [source]
The artist’s most popular series involve miniature skulls carved from pearls. You can find some stunning examples below along with some process shots of the transformation from pearl to skull.
If you’re interested in purchasing Nakaba’s works, be sure to visit his online shop here.[via Proteon]