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Interview with Jing He

Interview  /  Artists
Published: 28.01.2014
Interview with Jing He.
Author:
Klimt02
Edited by:
Klimt02
Edited at:
Barcelona

Intro
If I understand that “standardizing” means nowadays jewelry pieces are becoming similar to each other, I think maybe it caused by the impact of cultural globalization, which is not only happening in the jewelry field. Accordingly, as an artist or a designer, the self-awareness is important. On the one hand, everything seems to have been done, but on the other hand, one's individual experience is so different from the others.
Do you think that jewelry is being standardized? What is there of local and universal in your artistic work?
If I understand that “standard” means the common elements in jewelry, it is the point I am interested in, questioning about and working with. I like to research on subjects concerning the basic elements in jewelry, for instance, the pin of the brooch, the string of the necklace, and the circle of the ring. Among these basic elements, the pin attracts me a lot as it involves mechanical movement, function of connection, hardness of the substance, the motion of sharpening the pin, and wearing. It also raises many questions, such as what is the difference between a pin and a brooch, and where is the border between them?, and how do they work? I did a project called Brooch (2013) as my reactions of the questions about pin. I tried to bring pins into other contexts and to search for the “potential pins” in daily objects.

If I understand that “standardizing” means nowadays jewelry pieces are becoming similar to each other, I think maybe it caused by the impact of cultural globalization, which is not only happening in the jewelry field. Accordingly, as an artist or a designer, the self-awareness is important. On the one hand, everything seems to have been done, but on the other hand, one's individual experience is so different from the others. This also pushes me to be aware of the aesthetic sense and ideas in my mind when I am making works: is the piece is unique or it was unconsciously influenced by something? What makes me making the choices?

Consequently, for my answer to the question about local and universal in my works, I prefer to view the “local” as my personal experiences and self-awareness, and to view the “universal” as something happened or existed. I take found objects, which have quality of something universal, as my material. I use or misuse them in a personal way in order to question the “universal things” and myself at the same time.

What do you expect when exposing your work to the public (for example with an exhibition)?
I wish the audience could build up their own relationships with the works. The works are independent from me. So, misunderstanding is not a problem and it is part of the relationships. I admit that my works confused people sometimes. It is a little bit hard for people to know these pieces are jewelry immediately, but I expect people to enjoy giving thoughts to my works, using or misusing them.

Are other areas besides the jewelry, present in your work?
Not yet, but I wish I could show my works in other contexts. My ongoing project is a collaboration with a social designer. We probably will make an installation and videos, but still related to jewelry. I am also collaborating with another jewelry designer and a fashion designer this year. We will have something in a fashion show in China. I believe jewelry has lots of possibilities in different contexts.

The last work, book, film, that has moved me was...
Recently, I am reading the book Man a Machine (1748) by Julien Offray de La Mettrie. Though this book was published in the 18th Century, I enjoy reading it. It could be related to other books I like, such as Out of Control by Kevin Kelly and Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick.

I quite like the point that human thoughts depend on bodily actions or the conditions of organs. The mind and the body are tightly associated. In some ways, the so-called soul/mind could be generated under certain conditions of organizing matters, which happens from bottom up. Somehow, I think this point resemble artist's working process.

A place, space, country whose creativity surprises me...
I love the Museum für Naturkunde in Berlin and Museum Boerhaave in Leiden. I always get inspired in these places. Besides, I like all kinds of second hand/charity shops, supermarkets, one-euro shops, or a kind of super-cheap-bad-quality supermarket. To walk randomly on the chaotic suburban streets in my hometown is also very inspiring. I always can discover something amazing, weird or ridiculous there.

Is there any designer, jeweller, artist, you appreciate a lot?
There are a lot that it is hard to pick one or two out. I like Roman Signer, Bas Jan Ader and Walter Pichler. I recently bought a book about Mark Manders. It is really exciting to look at all the details in his works.

In the jewelry field, I learnt things from Onno Boekhoudt's, Suska Mackert's and Hilde de Decker’s works. Now I am really interested in the early works of Otto Künzli and Françoise van den Bosch, which can be re-studied.

I appreciate designs from many unknown designers/factories who invented/made cheap, useful and durable small tools or things for daily life.

What piece or work has given you the most satisfaction?
I don’t have much works yet, and I shouldn’t feel satisfy easily. From what I have made, I quite like the idea of Trophy series. It is about the “absence” which is an important theme in my works and I will continue working with it.
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