“Is this a gun in your pocket?” “You bet, and it is about to shoot neatly packed condoms at you!” This ironic condom toy gun is only one of the thrilling design works MAVO interior designer Masayuki Takahashi is showing with his first product series called “Honey Trap.” For example, it features other intriguing objects, such as a multi-purpose cushion as sex toy or a coffin shaped sanitary box. So for today, PingMag catches up with Masayuki to learn more about sexy design.
Written by Chiemi
Translated by Kevin Mcgue
First, tell us a bit about your “Honey Trap” series!
I had been doing interior design and I naturally started to feel that I would like to try something that I couldn’t express in that medium. I took sex, which is the basis of human life, as my theme, and focused on topics such as “conception,” “sexlessness” and “menstruation.” I designed products that tackle these topics, and created the “Honey Trap” story to help people understand the series. I wanted to create something that would really draw people in, and so I made these works that are not so different from fashion items. The exhibition was held at the JAM HOME MADE & ready made jewellery shop. I like to think of my works as something like jewellery: it is not essential to have them, but you have much more fun when you do have them.
Inside the MAVO exhibition at “JAM HOME MADE & ready made” in November. Photo by Muga Mihara.
Attention! Concealed in her stocking is a pistol, loaded with a condom. Photo by Muga Mihara.
“Honey Trap” is a term that was especially used in the Cold War to describe espionage that used sex as a lure. How do you reinterpret it?
The first work really serves as a prologue for the story told by that whole series: the condom case gun. Rather than simply designing a package for a birth-control device, I was more interested in how that package can be carried by its user. I thought of a handgun as a symbolic icon of protecting one’s self, and put the condom inside that. [See the main image above.]
This handgun is quite exquisitely made, indeed!
Next came a series of cushions. The first is “Queen Save the Man,” which features a ballroom mask that is affixed with magnets for easy removal. The title is a word play on the title of the British national anthem, “God Save the Queen.” In this case, women can become a queen-like figure and save men.
Who is the woman on the cushion?
The next in the cushion series was “Bride in Black.” I think women are most beautiful as brides and I want them to remember that feeling. So, I designed this cushion where you can place your wrists through lace cuffs, so that the hands appear to be holding a bouquet.
The next cushion in the series features a horse whoose tail can be removed and clipped unto lingerie. The tail is connected with a silver ring, which can be slipped over a finger and swung around like a whip.
Since all of your works are in limited editions of one, do you make them yourself by hand?
Basically, I do the designs and then hand them over to professionals. However, I made the mask and whip myself. I wanted to use real horse hair and wig hair for the whip, and I did a lot of research into that. Also, when trimming the tail I wanted to get the length just right, so I clipped it on myself and had a look in the mirror. (Laughs)
OK, now I am imagining you doing that… And the final part of your story would be this rather deluxe sanitary box.
If the first piece, the condom case, is used properly while having some fun with these questions, then eventually the next menstrual cycle will start. I thought of a graveyard for sanitary goods, and so I made a sanitary box shaped like a coffin. Most sanitary boxes are designed to be hidden, but this one can be openly displayed. There is no need to hide it.
I think a coffin shaped sanitary box with a cross on top is just asking for controversy. How did people react?
The way they reacted really seemed to depend on their nationality. Some seemed rather bothered by it, while others laughed about it – it is a religious difference. For us, crosses are just a part of fashion.
MAVO’s Masayuki Takahashi.
Any plans for further exhibitions?
I would like to have these items produced as products. I would need to change the designs a bit depending on which country they would be sold in, but now I am looking for people who could cooperate to bring these out as products. I hope that anyone who is interested will contact me through my website.
Masayuki Takahashi, thank you! We look forward to see your luring objects in stores around!