Interview with Wu Ching Chih

Interview  /  ArtistsMaking
Published: 26.11.2014
Interview with Wu Ching Chih.
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Wu Ching Chih. Necklace: Pink square, 2013. Copper, bronze, enamel, stone. 7x12x15 cm. Wu Ching Chih
Necklace: Pink square, 2013
Copper, bronze, enamel, stone
7x12x15 cm
© By the author. Read Copyright.

Jeweler and metalsmith, Wu Ching Chih, discusses the inspirations and processes of his artistic practice and how the current practices of contemporary jewelry must be identifiably unique to break from the model of standardization.
Do your think that jewelry is being standardized? What is there of local and universal in your artistic work?
There will always be a level of standardization concerning the form and development in jewelry. However, in contemporary jewelry, many artworks attempt to utilize different materials and forms to break this model of standardization. In my opinion, jewelry must create a link between the function and wearer. This restriction, especially in some of my works, stimulates me to adapt the functionality of the jewelry into part of the form via the use of various materials. Although my jewelries are objects that possess function, yet it still finds uniqueness within the standardization.

People always consider my works as light or fragile, however, it is not the case. Instead of seeing my jewelry as being brittle, they actually have a certain amount of weight. My work strives to alter our visual experience of looking at an object. Hence, I think to understand my jewelry, to have mutual language and culture is not necessary because experience transcends all boundaries.

What do you expect when exposing your work to public (for example with and exhibition)?
I anticipate people can see the beauty or delicacy in my work. Although this statement seems to position my artwork only presenting a skin-deep aesthetics, but I believe that it is crucial for jewelry to be beautiful, for fundamental goal of jewelry is decorate our body and emphasize our personality. A good example of this is the works I have recently put in the Sieraad Art Fair, I deliberately used delicious colors and displayed my pieces like desserts, and I hope the audience and engage with the sweetness while looking at my work.   
Are other areas besides the jewelry, present your work?
Besides jewelry,  I have tried to explore in sculpture. A few years ago, I did a residency at Anderson Ranch Art Center Sculpture Studio. At the end of my residency I had a solo exhibition called 'Extreme Wearable', this was a series of artwork in which I explored the boundaries between sculpture and jewelry through the concept of jewelry's functionality. What was interesting with this exploration was that people who weren't jewelers thought of the wearable objects as sculptures or installation.

The last work, book, film, city that has moved was…
I am obsessed with watching movies; I enjoy all types of movies, except for horrors. My favorite movie is a Japanese film called Memories of Matsuko, I saw it more than 20 times, and the movie articulates how a girl sacrifices everything to pursue happiness. Through gorgeous colors, dazzling screen, and glorious music, the narrative was delivered in a very dramatic way. The movie relates back to my own practice, to transform the selfless spirit into the artwork.

A place, space, country whose creativity surprised me….
I extremely admire Jeff Koons's giant sculpture that was inspired from ordinary objects. Via the popular yet contemporary forms, it captures the common experience of everyday life. I adore how his works looks like very luxurious instead of tacky, where this type of art usually can become. His work well expressed the uniqueness in our daily lives.

Is there any designer, artist, jeweler , you appreciate a lot? Do you discuss your work with other jewellery artist or any other person?
I think to discuss with others is very important. I really like Peter Hoogeboom’s jewelry, his work is very fine and very thoughtful. I was honored to attend his workshop with Shu-Lin Wu. He inspired me a great deal, providing many breakthroughs with material and jewelry structures.

What piece of work you satisfaction the most?
Square Series is one of the series I like very much. It differs from my previous pieces where I only want to present the enamel technique, plique-a-jour; the series showed more of the transformation between material and skill. It presents my concepts during this phase of creation, such as the relations between jewelry and sculpture, use of readymade objects, materials and skills etc.

Do you read jewelry magazines? What is you source to get information?
I rarely read jewelry magazines. Most of the information I acquire are from the internet, for instance, Klimt02, Art Jewelry Forum and Café, they are helpful and professional websites.

What is your first thought when you hear the word future? What do you expect for?
The first thought that comes across my mind is the word “happiness”, although this word seems to be old fashion, but for me, to be able to acquire happiness is the motivation to continue whatever task I have in my hands, whether it might be a romantic encounter, a plentiful journey, a delicious feast, a satisfied artwork and so on.