Not for your body only

Exhibition  /  26 Apr 2008  -  14 May 2008
Published: 18.06.2008
Fei Gallery
Nikita Cheung
Esther Brinkmann. Brooch: Red face, 2008. Red string, gold, red string, oxidized silver. Esther Brinkmann
Brooch: Red face, 2008
Red string, gold, red string, oxidized silver
© By the author. Read Copyright.

Wearing jewellery conducts to a dialogue with the body, the mind and the feelings. Wearing jewellery enables each of us to transmit exterior signs of interior states. Jewels open up spaces for the imagination. They accentuate or invoke in each of us the feeling of being an individual.

Artist list

Esther Brinkmann

As I have always been doing architectural design, it seems to me that all the spaces have boundaries. However, Esther unfolds before our eyes a space without boundary with the jewelry she designs, in which the soul is set free, and the mind flies with wings. Looking at the pearl she designs, it reminds you of the morning dew which would drop down at any moment, and probably make a ripple on the surface of water……. All of a sudden, you might feel lost and sentimental. A moment of gain and loss could be reflected on the gloss of the pearl. The ring, representing a couple’s good wish for eternal love, usually feels so tight as if to leave some imprint on the beloved one’s finger. While the ring designed by Esther feels so loose on your finger when you put it on, but you can’t just easily fling it away --- indeed shouldn’t one leave more space to the other half since they are bound to be with each other day and night?

I have been contemplating whether the contemporary art could also use estheticism to stimulate thinking and awaken people from their numbness to reality while I tried to do some art planning. Esther chooses jewelry as the vehicles of thinking. It does not need any space for exhibition, nor any speech full of surprises. As long as you carry it with you everyday, even the passerby who is meticulous and sensitive could understand its meaning at a glance.

I’ve been preparing to open a shop, which sells some useful things that can be regarded as art. A set of cups may add to the fun of eating and drinking, it can be pleasing to your eyes, but not necessarily an art piece; a piece of jewelry may decorate your body, it can look gorgeous on you, but it doesn’t have to be art either. The applied art should be of some use in the first place; moreover it helps to light up our minds.

Architect Michelle Yip

The jewelry designed by Esther is a piece of micro-sculpture. If you want to find out its profoundity, you have to transform yourself to a very little man, going round into her works, then you are able to discover the delicacy behind the simplicity. Every piece of her design, being enlarged by thousands of times, could become a piece of city sculpture, so does the singular outer packaging box which could also become a piece of contemporary architecture or a modern house.

Looking into the works of Esther, I feel touched, by her thoughtful mind within the inch space.

Founder of "Exception de Mixmind" and "Wuyong(useless)" Ma Ke

My friendship with Esther initiates with her works.
I first met her in a family gathering of a friend, when I was deeply impressed by her well-kept figure, as well as her elegant behavior and dressing. But her dark green eyes (which resemble the eyes of my cat) conveyed a serious air, which prevented me from a conversation. After knowing that she is a jewelry designer, a feeling of intimacy began to grow in my heart. Then I got the opportunity of appreciating her works. If you are young at heart, if you are of subtle sensitivity towards life, and if you are enlightened with creative passion, you will feel delighted and gratified to get access to the exhibition or this collection, because this is exactly how I feel towards her works.
Once I used a slogan of “Limited space, unlimited creativity” in a jewel designing competition for the students. I think this slogan perfectly mirrors Esther’s work.
We have attached too much importance to the material value of the word “jewelry”. We are used to connecting the object which can call itself a jewel with money or regular aesthetics. Consequently, the spiritual value of art creation in jewelry design has been neglected. Esther’s jewelry design cannot be categorized like this. Her jewelry best represents her ingenious concept and her originality, which, at the mean time, is reflected in her tiny but totally different world. Her works also symbolize her inner philosophical thinking, accumulated through the years, which is profound but nothing short of essence of the modern society.
There is an old saying that “multum in parvo”. And another western saying is often quoted that “To see a world in a grain of sand”. Esther’s profound knowledge, her wisdom and her artistic talents have all been reflected in the limited space of her jewelry design.

Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts Yun JIA

I wrote my third story about rings whilst on the train from Zurich to Paris.
In the first story, the protagonist is a manager of a jewellery trading firm. The company that he worked for had encouraged its staff to adapt newer products for a younger market. This resulted in our protagonist developing some rather clever and creative ideas which he felt a sense of self-satisfaction over – for instance, using the pull rings of cans to make a ring. Essentially, our protagonist's understanding of the culture of rings could possibly be based solely on some vague “historical knowledge” gathered from the horror movie The Ring – maybe something to do with a sacred vow. However, that notion has become a feeble one in this day and age. Perhaps this implies the value we place in rings today. At an international jewellery fair, our protagonist chanced upon a ring. “A numbing sensation permeated my finger, and I was overtaken by a good vibe that I'd never experienced before.” He gave this ring to his girlfriend, a middle-aged but somewhat childish teacher in a high school. He had secretly hoped that the ring would not only ease her anxiety, but also increase her sex appeal.

In the second story, our protagonist is an overweight middle-aged man who often strolls idly around his neighbourhood after dinner, fantasizing about sexual encounters he could have. One night, a sexy lass crosseed his path. “She pouted her lips and indicated to me to stretch out my right hand. Her delicate finger quickly hooked itself around my thumb. I felt a remarkably refreshing coolness, akin to ice-cream in the summer heat, seep through my body. When I turned my attention back to my thumb, I discovered a tiny handcuff around it.” After he had savoured the thrill of a finger cuff, he was extorted of $5,000. In this story, the “ring” was transformed from its significance as a romantic vow made tangible to a stimulating tool for a crime. The middle-aged man's joyous groans were immediately turned into the all-too-common woeful sighs in life.

The third story differs from the two earlier stories. The protagonist of this third story will be a Swiss lady. She arrives in South China, and whilst surrounded by a dreamy landscape of rivers and skyscrapers, she begins to create her ring. Apparently, the ancient tools that she uses have a long history just like the ones featured in The Ring. The third story will return the ring to its original state: that is, the relationship between the ring and the finger, and how the finger experiences a sense of fullness when it is slipped through the “black hole” that is the ring. It attempts to return the relationship between the ring and the finger to a pure state of being. Historically, man has always used tangible rituals to ascertain and pin down abstract relations. Yet today, these relations are faced with new explications and definitions: as a finger slips through this “black hole”, the “hole” becomes more important that the space that is “filled”. In fact, it hints at a sort of relationship of mutual liberation, and it is the “pledge” that is made which allows for this release.... Hence, the third story will be more realistic – I have even figured out the name of this Swiss lady: Esther Brinkman. Soon, you will see the ring that she has created in up her castle in the sky at an upcoming exhibition fair, and this will be even more abstract – because it deals with the transcendence of time from time itself, and of a vow and love that mutually liberates. It almost seems inexpressible and can only be savoured and experienced in that split second when a finger slips through that black hole of a ring. 

Writer, Art Director of Vitamin Creative Space Hu Fang
Zurich – Paris, 10/3/2008

Esther Brinkmann. Brooch: Double of a red face, 2008. Cast gold, cast oxidized silver. Living in China: hundreds of unknown faces look at me every day. everyone is different, 
. everyone is unique.. Esther Brinkmann
Brooch: Double of a red face, 2008
Cast gold, cast oxidized silver
Living in China: hundreds of unknown faces look at me every day. everyone is different, 
everyone is unique.
© By the author. Read Copyright.
Esther Brinkmann. Piece: The last drop, 2007. Glove, knitted silk, pearl. "The last drop" the moment before separation. 
. This new piece belongs to a serie of pendants, fingerobjects, etc,
. started several years ago . Esther Brinkmann
Piece: The last drop, 2007
Glove, knitted silk, pearl
"The last drop" the moment before separation.
This new piece belongs to a serie of pendants, fingerobjects, etc,
started several years ago

© By the author. Read Copyright.
Esther Brinkmann. Object: Vases, 2008. Jade, gold. Belongs to "fingervessels" one of my recurrent work serie. 
. “Fingervessels”, like a vase contains and values a flower, a ring contains and values a finger. It influences our gestures. . Esther Brinkmann
Object: Vases, 2008
Jade, gold
Belongs to "fingervessels" one of my recurrent work serie.
“Fingervessels”, like a vase contains and values a flower, a ring contains and values a finger. It influences our gestures.

© By the author. Read Copyright.