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The Adventures of Jade by Ankie Lee

Exhibition  /  28 Sep 2019  -  13 Oct 2019
Published: 22.09.2019
Ankie Lee. Pendant: Set of Jade Ornaments, 2018. Hetian jade, thread.. Ancient Cultural Relic Jade Ornaments set and 21st Century Jade Ornaments.. Ankie Lee
Pendant: Set of Jade Ornaments, 2018
Hetian jade, thread.

Ancient Cultural Relic Jade Ornaments set and 21st Century Jade Ornaments.

© By the author. Read Klimt02.net Copyright.

Intro
When I mentioned about Ankie to other jewelers, this name seems still a little bit strange, but when I presented her works, everyone would be excited: “Oh, it’s her! I’m fond of her works!” It might be exaggerated to say that her works are widely anticipated, but indeed, quite a lot of my friends truly hope to appreciate her creation on the spot.

Artist list

Ankie Lee
I’m Your Necklace is a metal-like chain with one end hanging on a tree, while the other end extending to the group and forming two golden footprints. The audience can become part of this work and create a connection with the tree by stepping on the footprints. Of course, from a larger perspective, this work can be seen as a necklace of the earth.

The companion work, You’re My Ring, consists of a set of rings mounted upside down into the ground, and the audience may bend down and try to wear one of the rings that have become part of the ground.
This pair of works was inspired by the creation of Piero Manzoni.


What impressed me the most is not only Ankie’s jewelry works but also her appealing words. I used to attend the same class with her for one semester during school days when we were both jewelry students. While listening to her explanation over her works, I found it difficult not to be attracted. Her words are sticky, with a gentle touch, you will be firmly captured. Then you will be induced by her points of view to think over in her preset direction. The trajectory of these thoughts coupled with the results of her creation constitutes one or many small hammers that are constantly chiselling the boundaries of contemporary jewelry art.


"HOLE:

How can we drill a hole through a plane?
We aren’t able to drill a hole through a plane. 

If there is a hole in a piece of jewelry,
We can wear it. 
If there is no hole in it,
We need to be pierced.
In a word, either of us must be holed.

Thus, it is not chains, ropes or metals that connect jewelry and us,
But holes.

So, is it a hole a negative space?
Yes and No.

If a bullet makes a hole through a man, 
He’s gonna be nothing;
If a beam of light makes a hole through the curtain of night, 
It’s gonna be a star."


—— Declaration Series  2018


Year after year, Ankie Lee’s works have been constantly changing their forms. With experimentation and transformation of materials, resolution and reconstruction of ideas, and examination and subversion of traditions, she has endowed jewelry with an enriched and multifaceted manifestation. The works exhibited this time are her latest creations in the past two years, which concentrate on a traditional Chinese cultural symbol 'Jade'. However, under the labels of 'gentleness and warmness' that we usually associate with jade, she unveils those 'metaphors of jade' using her sharp tentacles, incisively and vividly.​

"56 is a meaningful number for Chinese, since there are fifty-six ethnic groups in China. The number not only presents a large group of people, but also includes every individual. So what weaves us together? What makes us laugh? And what makes us cry?"

“The Jade Faces series is in opposition to 56. There is neither special selection of materials, nor a uniform design of smiles. They are created by using the residuals generated while cutting raw jade, and the starting point and the endpoint of the thread naturally form the eyes on the faces. Who said jade must always be gentle and warm? Coming from the flat mill, they also bring along their own edges."


Jade engraving is an art of retreating, as throughout the engraving process, the artists can only establish and deliver their connotation by cutting out and removing some of the materials. The combination of a simple material with a single way of working has achieved China’s profound jade culture for thousands of years. Unlike this tradition, Ankie’s Jade Ornament Series attempts to reflect the spirit and quality of contemporary Chinese from different angles. In other words, her works imply the nature of humanity and the connection with jade.

Jade is an eternal gift reserved for time. Our ancestors must wear jade on their bodies both at birth and death, because they believe that jade, with a life of billions of years, and the human being can empower their lives to each other in this way, so that they would both reach immortality.

In ancient times, Chinese people embodied the ritual system on their clothes by strictly following the hierarchy, while jade, as a carrier of this ritual system, was used to communicate with the heaven and earth, and with the ancestors. The ancient set of jade ornaments usually consists of some familiar shapes in life, such as jade ring, jade Huang, jade Jue, jade tablet, and jade axe, and so on so forth. These jade pieces of different shapes are connected into a sentence, which is then worn into a paragraph on the human body like a complete life. In this set of works, the artist uses the contemporary linguistic symbols of 'emoji' to rearrange these ancient shapes in a relaxed and humorous way to form the set of jade ornaments belonging to the 21st century.

"The ornament in death’s mouth is usually in the shape of a cicada, which implies the death could rebirth like the insect. But for the living people, a cicada pendant embodies the wish which is to amaze people with a single brilliant feat. At both ends of life and death, we share the same symbol. When a cicada lollipop is put into one’s mouth, would it taste like cold death or a sweet life?"

Dip it ~ Blow it ~ is a brand-new series of works that have just been released and will be first ever exhibited at the \The Small Jewelry Exhibition'. This series consists of 10 works, each formed by a jade ring combining with another accessory of a different material. Ankie 'forcefully' assembles jade, which carries an ancient and mysterious temperament, with an ordinary and practical object in the real world to make it into a functional 'bubble maker'. The collisions and combinations between jade and those real-life objects produce a number of fascinating and absurd adventures just like those 'time-travel TV shows', and this is also the inspiration for the name of our exhibition: 'The Adventures of Jade'.

"As one of the gems, why is jade always punched rather than stone-setting? Although nowadays we can see some jade pieces being set, in the traditional jade culture, the relationship between jade and human being is always starting from a hole. When we’re curling our lips and pronouncing the syllable “yù” (jade), our mouth naturally forms the shape of a jade disc. The shape, temperature and texture of jade are all condensed in this pronunciation. In fact, the human being can be regarded as a piece of jade. This is not only because we are willing to believe in the commonality between jade and personality, but also because human nature has holes, such as mouth and anus. So, isn't human being also a bead that has been punched?"

'The modest gentleman, gentle as jade', to this day, we have already established a clear standard for what kind of stone can be called 'jade'. A qualified stone can even be issued a certificate of identification. However, what is the standard for 'gentleman (Jun Zi)' ? Should human also be classified into different classes as jade according to established checkpoints and criteria? Those stones not qualified for the standard seem to have lost the chance to be regarded as 'gentlemen' and are even called 'junk materials' within the industry. Thus, using these junks in 'gentlemen' and 'gentlemen' in junks, Ankie created some seemingly not-so-serious works, which are the Dip it ~ Blow it ~ series.

"If there is a hole on a stone, what can we do besides passing a thread through it and pocking it?"

"While I was polishing a cassock ring, its hole always formed a blown bubble in the water. The membrane of the bubble has a rainbow-like luster, pulling me out of the tedious work of mechanical grinding. 'I really want to blow it!' No matter how serious someone is, he/she will not refuse the game of blowing bubbles. Even though the bubbles blown out will be shattered eventually, we are not tired of it. How interesting we are! We are all descendants of the hole, as we all came from a hole somewhere. This might be the reason why we are so fascinated by these toys with holes."


Welcome to the exhibition to experience this unexpected Adventure of Jade. Dip it ~ Blow it ~

/ Xiao Liang
 
Ankie Lee. Installation: I’m Your Necklace, 2018. Gold foil, glue, found object, you.. Ankie Lee
Installation: I’m Your Necklace, 2018
Gold foil, glue, found object, you.
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Ankie Lee. Installation: You’re My Ring, 2013, 2018. Screw, copper foil.. Ankie Lee
Installation: You’re My Ring, 2013, 2018
Screw, copper foil.
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Ankie Lee. Pendant: Fifty-six, 56, 2019. Hetian jade, thread.. Ankie Lee
Pendant: Fifty-six, 56, 2019
Hetian jade, thread.
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Ankie Lee. Pendant: Fifty-six, 56, 2019. Hetian jade, thread.. Detail view.. Ankie Lee
Pendant: Fifty-six, 56, 2019
Hetian jade, thread.

Detail view.

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Ankie Lee. Pendant: Fifty-six, 56, 2019. Hetian jade, thread.. Detail view.. Ankie Lee
Pendant: Fifty-six, 56, 2019
Hetian jade, thread.

Detail view.

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Ankie Lee. Pendant: Jade Faces, 2019. Hetian jade, Hsiuyen jade, thread.. Ankie Lee
Pendant: Jade Faces, 2019
Hetian jade, Hsiuyen jade, thread.
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Ankie Lee. Pendant: Set of Jade Ornaments, 2018. Hetian jade, thread.. Ankie Lee
Pendant: Set of Jade Ornaments, 2018
Hetian jade, thread.
© By the author. Read Klimt02.net Copyright.
Ankie Lee. Piece: The Metaphor of Jade, 2018. Hetian jade, lolipop plastic stick, sellotape.. Ankie Lee
Piece: The Metaphor of Jade, 2018
Hetian jade, lolipop plastic stick, sellotape.
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Ankie Lee. Piece: Dip it~Blow it~, 2019. Jade ring, wood, silver, stainless steel.. Ankie Lee
Piece: Dip it~Blow it~, 2019
Jade ring, wood, silver, stainless steel.
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Ankie Lee. Piece: Dip it~Blow it~, 2019. Jade ring, wood, silver, stainless steel.. In context.. Ankie Lee
Piece: Dip it~Blow it~, 2019
Jade ring, wood, silver, stainless steel.

In context.

© By the author. Read Klimt02.net Copyright.
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