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Brooch : Absence, Function & Contemporary Jewellery Practice


Thursday, August 29, 2013

 

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My graduation work called ‘Brooch’ stems from my study in structure of brooches and daily objects. I am interested in the relationship of forms and functions in mass productions; how the form appeared because of function but not only aesthetic. I was wondering how they work and how people use or misuse them. During the research I questioned what jewelry can be and its characters, and compared jewelry with other ready-mades [x].
My practice has combined these daily objects with jewelry, focussing on the tensions between “sense and nonsense, “usefulness and uselessness”. I was observing every details of the objects, and in the mean time, I was observing my reactions to them. I saw my works as results but not answers of this process, which included remaking, testing, running, repeating and failing.
I take jewelry as a way of asking questions instead of giving answers, I hope people wear my works and question them, maybe even misuse them, or be questioned by others.

 

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Brooch by Jing He /photography DAN/NAD

 

My practice on jewelry is focused on the relationship of the human body and daily objects. I questioned what jewelry can be and its characters, observing and experiencing the function of objects, and comparing them with jewelry. The central interests in this are tensions between ‘sense and nonsense’, ‘usefulness and uselessness’. What I did was to focus first on the structure of mass produced products; how the form appeared because of the function and not he aesthetic. Then I explored how jewelry, as part of people’s daily life, resides at the edge of usefulness and uselessness/function and aesthetic, analyzing the special character and dilemma of jewelry makers. Finally I related my findings to the practice of the contemporary jewelry field.

 

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In Chapter 1, I mainly referred to the philosophy of Laozi and Martin Heidegger: the absence and function of objects, the different structures and usages between jewelry with other practical objects.
From Heidegger’s essay ‘The Thing’[x], I found the handle of his example of the jug interesting. In my opinion, the character of the jug’s handle has similarities with jewelry. In addition, I described and questioned my own jewelry practice, and how I discovered “absence”.
In Chapter 2, I studied similarities and differences of the jug handle and jewelry. In the contemporary jewelry field, I provided examples, referred to Jacques Derrida’s idea of supplement, and questioning the meaning of jewelry.
Jewelry is not only about the creation process but also the viewing experience, thus in Chapter 3, I compared paintings from ancient China and Italy, and discovered a new way of viewing image and jewelry. I proposed the idea that jewelry is seen out of the corner of once’s eyes.
In the end, I refocused on the absence of objects, and added how people misuses daily objects, and a few pieces of art. I believe that jewelry making can originate in the idea of combining different absence parts from objects.

text by Jing He [graduate student department of Jewelery] he-jing.com

 

Pdf-icon Download my thesis: ”Absence, Function and Contemporary Jewellery Practice“
 

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Thursday, May 12, 2011

Karl Blossfeldt born in 1865, was like his father before him, a huge lover of nature. This love soon turned into an obsession. For more then 30 years he documented and photographed sections of plants with a self made magnifying camera. No longer revealing them as natural forms but more as abstract forms.
In the time that Blossfeldt began taking photos around 1899, photography was more seen as something scientific. Karl just saw it as documenting to restore our relationship with nature.

At that time his photos shocked and inspired the art world, never before had the world seen plant formations like this, in such great detail. His photos were taken just about 60 years after the first ever photo was successfully produced.
If we look at Blossfeldt’s curriculum vitae, it clearly states he was a sculptor and professor of art, something quite different from a trained photographer or scientist/botanist.
But that didn’t mean he wanted his photographs to be viewed as art. The question remains, was Karl just one of the first macro fanatics studying the biology of plants, or was he an artist looking further then biology or was he both?
This is a question that Karl himself was obviously not fazed by at all. He simply stated:

“My botanical documents should contribute to restoring
the link with nature. They should reawaken a sense of
nature, point to its teeming richness of form, and prompt
the viewer to observe for himself the surrounding plant world.”

If he is trying to do so –trying to reawaken a positive feeling for nature– he is giving it to us, by no system of emotional representation. Just plants against a gray wall. So I’m guessing it is the plants themselves that are supposed to reawaken this in me and I’m not quite sure it is working.

Even if I can’t find an immediate understanding of his work right now, I can at least have an admiration for his ability capture something on camera, no one had done before. For his ability to show how our man made world –with its architecture, fashion, design etc– is visually not much different from formations and patterns found in nature, probably without those designers even noticing it themselves.

Here are a few examples of architecture, fashion and design that is very comparable to the images Blossfeldt created.

Letters


Wednesday, March 30, 2011


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