Bei­jing ex­hi­bi­tion cel­e­brates jew­elry as con­tem­po­rary art

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - LIFE - By DENG ZHANGYU

A con­tem­po­rary jew­elry de­sign and art show opened last week in Bei­jing, pre­sent­ing jew­elry pieces as wear­able art­works, from a ring fea­tur­ing a fly­ing air­plane to a neck­lace that mim­ics wind chimes.

The show, Triple Pa­rade 2016, fea­tures works of more than 100 de­sign­ers from 14 coun­tries, in­clud­ing the United States, the Nether­lands, Den­mark, Spain and the United King­dom. Frog skin, air­craft wood, var­i­ous met­als and LED are ap­plied to jew­elry in ways that are some­times akin to small sculp­tures or even in­stal­la­tions.

“Many jew­elry de­sign­ers are artists. Their art­works can be wear­able,” says Sun Jie, a de­signer and founder of the an­nual show that started in 2014.

He ex­plains that jew­elry de­sign in the West has de­vel­oped as a facet of con­tem­po­rary art. These fash­ion­able ob­jects are more than sim­ple or­na­ments; they can ex­press the ideas and thoughts of both the cre­ators and the wear­ers.

Sun wears a gold fish­tail brooch that looks like a real fish try­ing to jump into his heart. He is dis­play­ing two pieces of his Ice Cream se­ries. The var­i­ous brooches are in­spired by Shake­speare’s Twelfth Night to con­vey the feel­ings of when women fall in love.

The ice cream-shaped brooch that is “melt­ing” with lots of crys­tal dots shows a girl’s fear and shy­ness when she first falls in love with some­one, says Sun.

Many of the works on dis­play are not the tra­di­tional jew­elry peo­ple see in shops. “Art­works” bet­ter de­scribes them be­cause visi­tors have to read the de­scrip­tions to un­der­stand their uses.

A neck­lace de­signed by Swe­den­based jew­elry artist Karin Jo­hans­son is made of var­i­ous ma­te­ri­als to ex­plore bright col­ors and shapes. It sounds like wind chimes when tubes made from dif­fer­ent ma­te­ri­als, in­clud­ing If you go gold, acrylic and alu­minum, clash against one an­other.

An in­stal­la­tion-like bam­boo box with mov­able porce­lain pots in­side is the fo­cal point of a brooch made by Dutch artist Peter Hooge­boom.

A ring de­signed by Korean artist Du­kno Yoon is like an air­plane with a sim­ple metal struc­ture. It flies on the fin­ger of the wearer.

Teng Fei, a pro­fes­sor of the jew­elry depart­ment of the Cen­tral Acad­emy of Fine Arts, says that wear­ers must have the abil­ity and courage to ac­cept new things, and enough con­fi­dence in their in­de­pen­dent think- ing when they choose con­tem­po­rary jew­elry.

Sun, the or­ga­nizer of the show, says he aims to open peo­ple’s minds about how a con­tem­po­rary piece can free their imag­i­na­tion.

The sub­ject of the show cre­ates a di­a­logue be­tween cre­ators, wear­ers and view­ers. Sun says the jew­elry can only have mean­ing when peo­ple wear and es­tab­lish a re­la­tion­ship with the pieces.

“Jew­elry in­volves many fields, such as cul­ture, so­ci­ety, de­sign, ma­te­rial and even oceanol­ogy. It’s not only an ob­ject for wear­ing, but also a new aca­demic sub­ject for us to re­search,” he says, adding that China is ac­tively en­gag­ing the field.

Sun is now head of the New Cen­ter of Con­tem­po­rary Jew­elry and Fash­ion with Tong ji Univer­sity in Shang­hai. He started the an­nual jew­elry-de­sign art show to foster a cul­tural ex­change be­tween China and other coun­tries. TriplePa­rade2016

10 am-5 pm, un­til Jan 16. Gau­guin Gallery, Room 1211, Tower A, 10 Wangjing Street, Chaoyang dis­trict, Bei­jing. 010-5707-6948.

PRO­VIDED TO CHINA DAILY

The on­go­ing show art­works. fea­tures jew­elry pieces as wear­able

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