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.
(all the photos are from the Ubi gallery website)