SO MINT! is a series of posts on fresh graduates in fashion, jewellery and design from around the world. Handpicked by Current Obsession.
July 12, 2021
The graduation work of five Master students of the jewellery department Royal Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp.
‘In my concept, jewellery worn on our body is amongst our most intimate possessions. If jewellery can bring different degrees of feedback from our body movement as an extension part of the wearer’s body, then the wearer and jewellery itself will have a harmonious relationship.
With this collection, I want to achieve an interaction between jewellery and the human body by using the principles of kinetic art. On this basis, jewellery can produce certain kinds of physical feedback from our body movements. This feedback responds differently from different degrees of movements of the body (such as walking or running). In the design of structure, I made three different kinds of structure to provide different reactions of jewellery. These are driven by wind when we are moving, or a spring in the structure. Influenced by the up and down movements of our body, jewellery can “breathe” as a part of our body, it has a rhythm dependent on our body.’
People like to use different ways to record their lives. Nowadays social software is one of the most popular tool of communication and interaction. People post pictures and texts on them to share their lives. However, what they show is the part they want others to see and other parts stay hidden.
This project tells what I want to show and hide in my life. I use my diary as a tool and I create two approaches to see what I want to show and hide. One approach is about beautiful and imperfect things. I always want to present the beautiful things, and hide things that I don’t like or that have defects. In this collection, the colorful and visible part represent the beautiful things, that are clearly shown on the surface. The imperfect represent is made in dark colors and I hide it on back side, or make it invisible so the audience should turn the jewellery to look for it.
The other approach is about the balance between showing and hiding. In this collection, the invisible pattern represents what I want to hide, and the colorful pattern represents what I want to show but that is they always hidden in the corner because of my negligence in tidying up. The unpainted patterns represent a messy room. The colorful and clearly visible patterns symbolised cute toys. People record lives and show the beautiful things in various ways, but the hidden part is also the truth. This collection shows the visible part of human life, but also our hidden stories. Only curious people tend to discover the hidden stories and details in this jewellery collection.’
‘The collection reflects on an actual, global issue: the water crisis. I observe water as a vital element for survival and at the same time enemy of the inhabitants of Earth due to climate change. With water as main topic, I investigate it through different approaches in the subject of interdependence and cause-effect. I also put an emphasis on the possible outcome of a dystopian future. How does water create life? What happens if the quantity or quality of water changes? How does it influence our environment and how do we as humans have an effect on water? What can the consequences be of the pollution which we produce? My jewels aim to create awareness to this universal matter.’
‘Silence sometimes hides an unsuspected story. A story that you protect from the curiosity of others with particular care. It is a story that is sometimes shameful and sometimes happy. It speaks of a moment, a feeling, a person, a passion or anything else. This story is part of us no matter what happens. This story is a secret. Your secret. But, at the same time, don’t you have the desire or curiosity to know the secrets of others? Maybe it’s to make sure you can trust them, maybe it’s just because there’s nothing more intoxicating, more exhilarating than being able to crack a secret. Your secrets are like <joyaux>* that you protect, that you make inaccessible, that you hide or that you enclose. They play with you, sometimes touching you deeply. They are as well full of details and anecdotes that will make them unique, just like the many inclusions you can see in the gems of this collection. It is possible you have already confded a one to a trustful person, hoping you will never be betrayed. It endangers it by making it mobile such as the stones of few jewels that can move in the structures and follow your gestures. The pieces of this collection represent the secrets you preserve and keep within you. The gems are your secrets, the structures their protection.’
*joyaux (fr) : jewels made with precious stones and metals. The etymology comes from the ancient French word joel which means play, illustrating the play of light on the piece due to the high shine of the stones and the polished metal
‘This current work is inspired by the concepts chaos and order.
In my first master year I created jewellery by creating layered clay structures with fringed layers. Their final form was obtained by folding them in the middle, thus creating a new structure or hollow volume: a piece of jewellery.
This year I started of by creating layered metal structures in a metal workshop in Russia. I was fascinated by the meandering veins on the outside of the resulting metal objects.
My first epiphany this year happened when I encountered a stone that suddenly revealed itself as a layered object that represented chaos and order at the same time. Suddenly, I realised it had been created and structured by the evolution of the Earth, by a succession of natural interventions.
My second epiphany happened when I realised I could cut into these stones and combine them with metal bracings.
Suddenly my training as a jewellery artist joined my original training as an architect. Lines seen from another perspective become outlines of volumes. This is the link between the original work with metal and my decision to start cutting into stones.
When I finished this collection I had my third epiphany, namely they I had found a personal position between luxury jewellery and contemporary art jewellery. This has always been my dream and goal, but I seem to have achieved it unconsciously, just by working continuously, then taking distance at the right time, then having these sudden insights.
In short, this collection is about combining chaos with order, abundance (a passion for rich and complex materials) with minimalism, fullness with emptiness, vulnerability and solid construction, sofistication and readability, luxury and art.’