Beijing exhibition celebrates jewelry as contemporary art
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.
The ongoing show artworks. features jewelry pieces as wearable