Tag Archives: contemporary

Ubi Gallery

Lets talk about the other link sent by Anja Eichler the other day: Ubi gallery.

The place is located in the oldest part of Beijing, in south of Tiananmen: Dashilar. Dashilar is an attractive area for people who are interested in antics items and old chinese fashion brands. It’s also a place well frequented by the tourists, almost all the building are preserved from their origine. Charged of history, Dashilar has been during the last 600 years the most famous commercial street in Beijing.  The Ubi gallery is now situated in a  19th century Hutong, that place hasn’t been used during several years. After renovation, the old building welcoming since september the first gallery in China (if I’m not including Hong Kong) specialised in contemporary jewellery!

Yes, “the first gallery for contemporary jewellery in China”! Even my friend Patricia (from Hong Kong) was surprised when I told her! She knew that contemporary jewellery wasn’t famous as it is in Europe, but not that “new”! No needs to wonder why with all the time spent on internet, I didn’t found any other galleries (except in Hong Kong, and Taiwan)! Well, that is not the only surprise have got. The place is not run by a Chinese or an Asian, Machtelt Schelling is from the Netherlands! Here we are: a European person bringing her art and contemporary jewellery culture and knowledges in China. What a great idea! I love when people share and mixe cultures and experiences! Contemporary jewellery in China has just been introduced in art schools few years ago, it’s something new, the basis of this field in China are building right now, by artists/jewellers! It’s the right time to come with fresh ideas and new concepts in one of the most ancient culture in the world! Machtelt found here a great way to be part of the contemporary art in China! She has also her own contemporary jewellery brand: Finch Jewellery. She works mainly with precious metals and gems in order to create creative fine jewellery.
The first phrase of the description of the gallery reflects exactly what people  do when they are traveling, when they are sharing, the name “Ubi” is based on it:

Ubi means ‘where’, it refers to moving and arriving. It is about asking questions. The gallery offers a platform to those great designers and artists who through their work keep us curious.”

I see a platform as something which always moves, things are here only for a moment, then new things arrive… A platform is a place for discoveries, meetings, sharing…  Ubi gallery does not features only Chinese or Europeans artists, but international (I’m quite pleased to see two French girls featured in the gallery!)! A way to promote new Chinese jewellers, and also to show what happen on the other side of the globe! All the artists of Ubi gallery have in their background studied and exhibited in many different countries! China, Taiwan, USA, Italy, Australia, France, UK, Japan… It shows how today contemporary jewellery is: multicultural! A word came to my mind to describe it: Melting pot! I think art nowadays has to travel! Artists have to travel! Art today is made through the world discoveries, a mix of languages, cultures, religions, landscapes, human behaviours…. During centuries, each society and civilisations has built its history! Now we have to experience it and to share and spread!

The Ubi collection is wide! Unique art objects, jewels/sculptures, contemporary fine jewellery, but also a small collection of ceramics! The techniques and the materials used by the jewellers are various: rubber, gold, silver, gems, ceramic, paper, fabrics, concrete, steel, everyday life objects… Really different works are exhibited into the renovated Hutong.

Here articles about the Dashilar quarter: Dashila(b), Dashilar street

(all the photos are from the Ubi gallery website)

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,

nature digital embroidery

Over the weekend, I’ve been really suprised by the nice comments/tweets and facebook sharing about my blog! During summer I thought making a blog about jewellery might be a waste of time… So many interesting blogs about artists/jewellers on the internet, I thought people will be bored and not paying attention to it, especially because I’m not a good blog writer. Words are not coming easily, even if when I’m using French it takes a long time to organise my ideas, and it’s worse when I’m writting in English. Anyway, I’m not the best at blogging for the moment: true, but if I keep going, I do not see why I could not improve it!

Seeing good comments about my blog encourage me to keep writing and sharing! And it’s much better when you share about your passion! I was really pleased to meet through Facebook Heng Lee. A young talented Taiwanese jeweller. After a bachelor in art and design at the National Hsinchu University, he went to the Tainan National University of the Art. In 2011 he has been graduated by a Master of applied art, Metalsmithing and Jewellery.
After our “internet meeting” I was looking at his Facebook page and at his work more carefully. And  I was amazed! The technical skills, especially with the enamel work called “plique à jour” , “cloisonné”, and “champlevé” they are really difficult techniques which need a long time training! I think every kind of skills which involve fire process is quite hard to learn and to master!

Now, the enamel is replaced by embroidery! Heng’s work is a mixture between computer assisted digital patterns and traditional crafts skills. In the “Floral Embroidery Series” he takes inspiration from the Chinese embroidery, which is a very old fine traditional craft. When you see his work you obviously thinking of  pixels. It’s actually what he does: playing with photoshop in order to create a pixel mosaic. Then the shapes are cutting with a laser cutter. After using softwares, computer engineering and new technologies, Heng goes back to the traditional skills by using hand-embroidery to give colour and details to his pieces. I really love the contrast between hand crafts skills and digital patterns!

With the same creation process, he made the series “Download nature”. Here, Heng plays with butterflies images, first downloaded from internet. He compares the pixels grid to the butterfly wing grid, and uses it as  embroidery support for glass beads. The butterfly symbolised the beauty of Taiwan.

Once again, I’m really surprised how a jeweller uses his culture and mixes it with new technologies in order to create something unusual!

To discover more about Heng Lee’s work you can have a look at his facebook page: Heng Lee Jewellery

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

everything could be a piece of art

I’m not going to talk about another Chinese artist. Not today.

Anja Eichler is German. She has always been interested by art (painting, collage, sculpture) but it’s only in 2008 she choose to start jewellery. She has moved in Italy to join the Alchimia school where she has been taught by artists/jewellers like Ruudt Peters, Lucia Masei, Peter Bauhuis… Since 2011, Anja is an artist jeweller based in Shanghai.

She’s finding in our dailylife objects new sources of inspiration. She doesn’t really transform them, but Anja want us to see common goods with a new eye. She calls it the “loving eye”! Art can be everywhere, we are surrounded by art, but we don’t giving any attention to it. Why a glove couldn’t be a piece of jewellery? Well, that’s what she’s doing, she’s using gloves. One type of glove grey rubber on the outside and white wooly on the inside. Then she uses different techniques to colour them! At first it was for giving to the object a different life. It’s not a latex covered work glove anymore! It’s an abstract jewel, which people can have a different interpretation of it. Now she’s using her life experience in Shanghai to create pieces based on her emotions, feelings, and her surrounding environment.

I also found two really well documented articles about Anja here: “Fresh Talent: Anja Eichler” and “Anja Eichler: Urbanauts”

For her website, it’s here: Anja Eichler

Tagged , , , , , ,

2012 BIAD Master class

As I said in my previous post: one thing appeared clearly at the begining is that many asian especially Chinese and Taiwanese art students are going to studying abroad. The jewellers from BIAD (Birmingham Institute of Art and Design) are mostly Chinese/Taiwanese more than the half of the class is from China! I’ve found this morning the website/blog of the new graduated Master students. I’ve been reading  their statments, and a quite interesting thing is : they don’t seemed to be influenced by their own culture but instead they’ re going ahead, trying new fields,  with perspex, plastics, silicone rubber, steel and new materials/techiques unusual for jewellery! (And they also seemed to appreciate to work with bright/fluorescent colours! which I quite like! )

some views of their work:

If you want you can also go on their own websites by cliking on the images or going on the class’ website call: “Cast from different moulds”. You’ll find links and very interesting informations, interviews, photos of their design process!

Tagged , , , , ,

first thougts and questions

I’m on my dissertation project since few month now, and I’ve never been back on my literature review because I thought that I should just see how things going on and not be constantly stuck with my first draft. I think that wasn’t the best idea! I’m realising that I forgot to search and keep questioning myself about many topics! How bad is that! So, just in case some people are interested/curious about the start of my work, I’ll copy and paste my literature review on the blog, and it’s also for me to be sure that I’ll never forget to have a look back again! And again: feel free for any comments/suggestions/questions! I will be pleased to read them and if I can, answer to it!

Continue reading

Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

Did you say ugly?

Ming  Gu is a Chinese Jeweller based in Birmingham, UK, where she has just done a Master in Jewellery, Silversmith & Related Product. Her work is based on parasites and tumors, which are usualy quite repulsive. By using bright, fluorescent colours, she’s trying to change our perception of such unfriendly creatures and playing with humour on a sweet story telling of the cohabitation between humans and undesirable parasites.

Body Parasite

Body parasite

Body parasite

Body parasite
How friendly and beautiful they are, isn’t it?

For more photos and informations about her work, her website is right here: Ming Gu

Tagged , , , , , ,