A Wun­derkam­mer-in­spired cap­sule col­lec­tion

Solitaire (Singapore) - - Content - By Ka­t­rina Uy

In the 16th cen­tury, house­holds through­out Europe be­gan boast­ing cab­i­nets of cu­riosi­ties.th­ese cab­i­nets — also known by var­i­ous other names, in­clud­ing Wun­derkam­mer — held col­lec­tions of ex­otic ob­jects, both nat­u­ral and man-made, with qual­i­ties rang­ing from sci­en­tific to su­per­nat­u­ral. A Wun­derkam­mer, be it a cabi­net or a room, would just as likely hold stuffed an­i­mals and sup­posed uni­corn horns as it would re­li­gious relics and med­i­cal spec­i­mens.

Cab­i­nets of cu­riosi­ties were both reflections of their times and sanc­tu­ar­ies from drab reality.the com­po­si­tion of col­lec­tions was di­verse, as each col­lec­tor had in­di­vid­ual tastes and pre­ferred spe­cific types of odd­i­ties over oth­ers. The con­cept of such a room or cabi­net, though, con­tin­ues to in­spire imag­i­na­tions to­day, in­clud­ing that of Korean de­signer Minjung Kang, who has col­lab­o­rated with Swarovski Gem­stones to cre­ate a Wun­derkam­mer-themed col­lec­tion of ban­gles.

Tal­is­mans, re­li­gious arte­facts, and items de­pict­ing the heav­ens would not be out of place in cab­i­nets of cu­riosi­ties, and Kang’s cre­ations re­flect all three. She sees jewellery as “a lucky sym­bol and a source of con­fi­dence”, and of­ten turns to the sun and stars for jewellery themes.the se­ries also takes vis­ual cues from St Vi­tus Cathe­dral in Prague. “I was in­spired by the trea­sures carved in the halo of the sun of St Vi­tus Cathe­dral and the beauty of the stars at the top of the Prague arte­facts,” says Kang.


Kang de­scribes her style as fea­tur­ing sym­me­try, “har­monies with curves”, and pavé set­ting on geo­met­ric pat­terns. Th­ese three el­e­ments are ap­par­ent in the ban­gles she has de­signed for Swarovski Gem­stones. La Petite Etoile ex­presses “the il­lu­sion of sun­light spread­ing in the night”, us­ing yel­low gold stud­ded with Misty Rose topaz, ruby, and pink, blue and yel­low


sap­phires. Per Ar­dua Ad As­tra evokes the dawn and the Aurora Bo­re­alis with 18K rose gold, sap­phire, and topaz in Misty Rose and Rain­for­est hues. Ita Vita rep­re­sents a rain­bow us­ing red ruby, white topaz, and sap­phire.

In cre­at­ing the ban­gles, Kang drew on her ex­per­tise in met­al­lurgy and gemmology, and banked on the stones’ ac­cu­rate siz­ing and colours to ex­press the sym­me­try and forms of the de­signs. “Swarovski Gem­stones’ tight tol­er­ance, sizes, and colours are very im­por­tant to me.the beau­ti­ful, uni­form colour of the nat­u­ral stone, the ex­act size, and pre­cisely cut gem­stone are a great strength and ad­van­tage in im­prov­ing pro­duc­tiv­ity,” says Kang.

Kang adds that in South Korea, de­mand has in­creased for valu­able coloured stones, as peo­ple con­tinue to look for new, unique items that re­flect their per­son­al­i­ties. She her­self is a case in point — she of­ten wears her birth­stone, ruby; her favourite colour, emer­ald; and a ring on her left lit­tle finger that she be­lieves pro­vides pro­tec­tion from bad luck.

FROM TOP A dis­play of pre­cious Swarovski stones at an ex­hi­bi­tion in Seoul, South Korea Korean jewellery de­signer Minjung Kang

La Petite Etoile ban­gle in yel­low gold with Misty Rose topaz, ruby, and sap­phires

CLOCK­WISE FROM TOP LEFT Per Ar­dua Ad As­tra ban­gle in rose gold with Misty Rose and Rain­for­est topazes and sap­phires Ita Vita ban­gle in yel­low gold and sil­ver with topazes, ru­bies, and blue sap­phires Colour­ful façade at a Wun­derkam­mer ex­hi­bi­tion in...

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