NO. 003


iCONS+ Wearable Leather Sculpture
Shoulder Bag / Cross-Body / Backpack

Regular price USD 2,100
Sale price USD 2,100 Regular price
(Taxes and duties not included)

436 g

Average delivery time: 3-6 months
Complimentary Shipping

Rarity 10%
Edition Size /450 +10 A.P.,
Each signed, stamped, titled and dated in pencil with CUiRASÉX blind-stamp


This wearable sculpture/bag is meticulously crafted from piment hand-boarded Madras vegetable-tanned goatskin, boasting exquisite craftsmanship. The bag's exterior features a delightful design, with a charming pair of googly eyes perched atop the piece, and a set of padded arthropods (joint legs) on the back, artfully fashioned to resemble the features of a crab.


In addition, the bag is adorned with a pair of hand-polished, mirror-finished 316L stainless steel 'hands' in the form of a spring keyring, which is a signature emblem of the iCONS+ series. These hands also feature removable chelae (claws), adding a whimsical touch to the overall design of the piece.


The bag is secured with a smooth Raccagni silver-tone zipper and comes with a front flap pocket that is adorned with goatskin letters to spell “cancer”. The interior of the bag is fully lined in electric blue recycled cotton twill and has a small silver metallic calfskin patch pocket. The artisan mark “E” and year of production mark “A” are stamped on the back of the right zipper stopper.


The bag is versatile and can be worn as a crossbody or shoulder bag with a single shoulder strap, or as a backpack with double shoulder straps. Alternatively, it can also be displayed as a stunning art object, showcasing the unique craftsmanship and whimsical design.


H20 x W14 x D10 cm (8” x 5.5” x 4”)
Exterior: 100% Hand-boarded Madras goatskin
Interior: One goatskin patch pocket
100% Recycled cotton twill lining
Front flap pocket with magnetic closure
Two adjustable shoulder straps
Removable claw charms
Hand-polished mirror finished 316L stainless steel hardware
Required 45 hours for one artisan to make
Cross-body, shoulder bag and backpack
Can also be displayed as an art object
Individually handmade in China
Reference No. CX23U0104003


“Before we begin, I must warn you…nothing here is vegetarian. Bon appétit.” Hannibal, Season 1 Episode 7 (Fuller, 2013)


Nothing Here Is Vegetarian, which is also part of my limited series on the recurring theme of astrology, is partly inspired by ‘A Crab on Its Back’ (1887), a brightly colored oil painting by Vincent Van Gogh who was possibly inspired by a Japanese wood print of a crab by Hokusai that he had seen in the magazine Le Jason Artistique. The work is also inspired by artists of the Dutch Golden Age such as Willem Kalf (1619-93) and Jan Davids de Heem (1631-95), who routinely employed shellfish as emblems of wealth and opulence.


I am a vegetarian, but I have always been fascinated by culinary arts and how food consumption is inherently affiliated with one’s socioeconomic status throughout history. From the Middle Ages and Renaissance to modern times, food has been depicted as a celebration of a theme, composition itself, or a metaphor. The image of cooked crabs or lobsters is a recurring motif in still-life paintings of the seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries. These expensive crustaceans were often lavishly depicted alongside other luxury foodstuffs such as game, fowl, exotic citrus or grapes, and paraphernalia associated with a privileged life. The owners of these paintings wanted to be identified with the opulence and abundance depicted in the artwork, much like users of Instagram and Facebook. Whether serving symbolic purposes, emphasizing eroticism, exoticism, or wealth, these depictions often denoted larger themes such as politics, gender, religion, or class.


In real life and arts, crabs and other crustaceans continue to symbolize wealth, gluttony, and temptation. In southeast China, mitten crab (Eriocheir sinensis) also known as Shanghai hairy crab, is a gastronomic delicacy prized by the local social elites, while wildlife services in the US and Europe view it as an invasive species. Affluent diners in coastal cities such as Shanghai consume the female mitten crabs in the ninth lunar month and the male in the tenth because the crustacean migrates from freshwater to saltwater to spawn at that time and contains flavorful roe and milt.


Several customs have sprung up around the consumption of these creatures, including the use of fine paraphernalia known as the xie bajian, or the "crab eight-piece," which allows the epicure to extract the crabmeat and guts elegantly and expertly while leaving the shell mostly intact. This process bears a close resemblance to the fictional character Hannibal Lecter's disturbingly gorgeous meal preparation rituals. The cutlery kit consists of a hammer to knock on the crab shell to make it easy to open, a small axe to lift the shell, a hook to extract the crabmeat, a spoon to scoop out the crab roe, pincers to get rid of unwanted parts, a pair of scissors to snip off the legs and claws, a cutting board, and a basin for the discarded shells.


While the portrayal of the crab in Nothing Here Is Vegetarian appears to be animated at first glance, a closer inspection of the work reveals its gruesome depiction. The hollowed scarlet shell, resembling an empty bag, indicates that it has been exquisitely prepared and consumed, with the blue rubber band carefully put back to suggest it was still alive.