Sint Lucas Antwerp. Graduation Degree Show 2016

Exhibition  /  25 Jun 2016  -  10 Jul 2016
Published: 26.08.2016
Liesbet Bussche. Installation: Blueprint of an Entire Jewellery Collection in 11 pieces, 2016. Paper, blueprint. 84.1 x 59.4 cm. Liesbet Bussche
Installation: Blueprint of an Entire Jewellery Collection in 11 pieces, 2016
Paper, blueprint
84.1 x 59.4 cm
© By the author. Read Copyright.

Capital-M is the city of the masters of Sint Lucas Antwerp and The Royal Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp. For the first time their graduation projects have been brought together into one exhibition: over 100 students from 11 different programmes entered consciously and unconsciously into a dialogue with each other and with you.
The structure of the exhibition was based on the urban ring, where projects have been organically positioned in a periphery around a centre. The blue-colored city centre held a number of activities and functions: a workshop, a (free) podium, a bookshop, a meeting place…

As a guideline for your visit to this city, you could follow the route of four professionals: Sara Weyns, Guy Rombouts, Kessel Kramers and Thomas Widdershoven.
Capital-M is free city presenting a sample of a new generation of artists and designers.
It was conceived as a part of Born in Antwerp, an overarching city project that spotlights creative talent from Antwerp until October 16th.

Artist's Staements:

Fan Wang - If I had to choose a key word to define my master work, I would say it is ‘return’.
What is real me as a jewellery designer is always a question in my mind and how to define my work and make it represent what I have been reflecting on throughout the year. The experience of studying abroad has influenced me, and both my own identify and my world view have gradually changed. I have always been fascinated by the world around me and the creativity of both nature and humanity. My inspiration always comes from the world around me and that has defined my search for my identify as a jewellery designer. Studying the vision of insects helped me make a link between nature and gem-cutting. I can see it clearly in the research of my pre-master, but is that really what makes it ‘me’? Somehow during the process I started to realize that as a master I have to show the world who I really am. The world is vast but I am so little, so actually what makes me ‘me’ is not the place I am heading to but the place I come from. This is probably the year’s most important conclusion and biggest development. In the past I opposed bringing things from my culture into my work. But I increasingly found that this was quite impossible, because they will always be present in my subconscious. That realization showed me how I think and that is also what makes me stand out. Culture can do more than you thought, even if you want to deny it. The environment, a childhood memory, a message you received when you were young, the way you think, a place you visited, the person you met … all these things are deeply marked in the individual’s blood. No matter how many places you have been to or want to visit, they cannot define who you are, only the place where you came from.  So I decided to return to where I came from, to explore the creativity of my own culture. Doing so, seeking the deep side of my own culture (no matter whether from the good or bad side) made me see more clearly what I wanted to express in my work. Travelling back home, I was shocked by the huge change: the new buildings were swallowing the old ones I remembered. I found this distressing. Everywhere was full of skyscrapers. They are all the same, and diversification is disappearing. This makes me really upset. Because for me, jewellery is the small architect that builds on the body and presents the owner’s taste and personality. Therefore I started recording and collecting news items and doing research on the architecture from the past that was once so prestigious. And I discovered the essence of the system that in Chinese architecture is called dougong. Drawing on this kind of architectural system, I started to develop my work and to see it as a way to link jewellery and the body.

Liesbet Bussche.
My work stems from my interest in the meaning jewellery has as a social and cultural phenomenon. I get my inspiration from the remote corners which jewellery can emerge from or move towards. Through collecting and with the use of archetypes, I explore the jewel in various contexts, from the intimate personal space to the public domain, from the commercial industry to the field of art jewellery.
‘Blueprint of an Entire Jewellery Collection in 11 Pieces’
On 21 April 2014, the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) published an article on its website entitled ‘11 Pieces of Jewelry Every Woman Should Own’. In this article the GIA enumerates a list of 11 indispensable jewels or the complete jewellery wardrobe for every woman: stud earrings, statement earrings, hoop earrings, a pendant, a strand of pearls, a statement necklace, bangles, a charm bracelet, a cuff, a cocktail ring and stackables.
This absurd list inspired me to make the work ‘Blueprint of an Entire Jewellery Collection in 11 Pieces’, a series of posters for which I used the technique of cyanotype, a photographic process that is better known under the name ‘blueprint’. In 11 posters, one for each jewel, I combined a line drawing with an X-ray-like image of an elaborate jewel of the same type. The line drawing is stripped of all ornamentation and restores the jewel back to its essence. The ‘genuine’ jewel is a stereotypical example par excellence of the jewel to be acquired. The cyanotype or blueprint was used by architects and engineers to copy their original drawings, it disappeared with the rise of the copy machine. A blueprint was the source of everything, the foundation from which tangible form arose. The term ‘blueprint’ is therefore still used to indicate the document that forms the basis for all subsequent designs.
‘Seeking Shimmer, the Antwerp Diamond District’

No more than nine streets stretching around the Central Station form the heart of the Antwerp diamond industry. The ‘largest’ diamond district in the world, also called the ‘square mile’, is mainly populated by Jewish and Indian diamond merchants. Together they form a community, closed to the outside world with its own systems and laws. The rather dingy-looking district is an area for insiders and contrasts sharply with the iconic product they trade in: the diamond. Walking through the Antwerp diamond district, I was struck by the logos of the various diamond merchants and jewellers. I decided to photograph them all. The result is a surprising collection: 123 diamonds in only nine streets and no two are the same, although the ideal brilliant diamond cut was already established by Marcel Tolkowsky in 1919 in his book ‘Diamond Design’. Via the (re)presentation of the collection, the spectator wanders with me through the Antwerp diamond district. He follows a route that shows the façade of its interior world and the quest for individuality within the normally strict proportions of the diamond.

Lynn Hofmann.
VUCA is a research project on the translation of abstract concepts into objects. As opposed to digitization, which aims to dematerialize the real world, I think about ‘analogization’, about attempting to give the digital culture a physical shape. By using the human body as my interface, I want to open up the dialogue between our digital and physical selves.

VUCA stands for Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity and Ambiguity. These are the new parameters of our times. Volatility refers to the rate of change, which in turn changes too. Uncertainty is being unclear about the present situation and future outcomes. Complexity relates to the multiplicity of key decision factors. Ambiguity indicates the lack of clarity surrounding the exact meaning of an event. We can observe how our living conditions have become increasingly complex and uncertain as our old, hierarchical patterns of thinking have become obsolete. As we learn how to deal with these changed conditions, how to engage with uncertainty, instead of attempting to eliminate it, we change the type of systems that we are working and thinking in, from linear, hierarchical ones, to flexible, decentralized networks. This development has been greatly influenced and accelerated by the recent advent of digital technology.

Although all these changes remain quite invisible and abstract by nature, they have nevertheless changed our behaviour, attitude and even the physical appearance of our environment. We have developed into these button-clicking, glass-swiping cyborg beings with external brains who build entire new pieces of land in order to accommodate algorithms. It is exciting to me to explore exactly those intersections between the abstract and the material, our digital and our physical bodies.

Given these circumstances I am attempting to access the ideas and logic behind those systems and project them onto the human body in order to create an awareness of their existence, as abstract, fundamental changes of order often go unnoticed. I hope that by making the underlying principles of our hybrid existence tangible, it will be easier to approach the mentality and implications they involve. In doing so I can create little reminders, or artefacts in times of constant change, which might help to get a grip on the surrounding uncertainty.

The new order of complex systems is grounded in the ideology of decentralized networks and collective phenomena, which are independent from single actors. This relates heavily to types of systems found in nature, like swarm behaviour and evolutionary processes. In this sense I am concerned with growing, harvesting and tweaking shapes, rather than pre-imposing them onto matter. There are ways for systems to bring forth incredibly interesting shapes and mechanisms that are not predetermined by any individual agent. They can show self-organizing, emergent properties that cannot be fully imagined beforehand. However, as we have been taught for centuries to think in terms of leaders, initiators and authors, which are expected to have total control over all possible outcomes, I find it interesting to explore ways in which one can let go of that authorship and work with the rules of the systems, rather than with its final appearance.

Since most complex and digital systems are of a volatile and thus short-lived nature, it is a challenge for me to try to find ways to preserve their character, without losing the dynamic essence. Jewellery, by contrast, has a long tradition of being a medium that encourages long-term relationships with objects. In my attempt to bring these two worlds together, I hope to be able to incorporate digital ways of system-thinking into objects that we interact with naturally and that we can relate to on a more personal level. With VUCA I attempt to combine the machine and the craft, the head and the hand, and I hope to preserve the culture of these complex, collective phenomena.

Sangji Yun - Shi-gan, the passage of time.
Time is expressed in two different ways in Korean: Shi-gak and Shi-gan. Shi-gak consists of two meanings, the moment (Shi) and engraving (Gak). Therefore, Shi-gak translates as an engraving made with the passage of time. Shi-gan, on the other hand, consists of Shi (moment) and Gan (in-between). Shi-gan therefore represents space between moments, and the sense of space is embedded within the word. Time flows. And time is intangible. It is therefore very difficult to shape physically. However, as time passes, we can often find traces of time. We can find traces of absence. I am interested in the past as it appears in the present. Looking at photo albums from the past makes me remember what existed. But the photos exist in the present. They are the traces of an absence. Therefore, the traces can also be tangible. And my grandfather’s old worn-out hammer can be shown as a representation of engraving made over a lapse of time like the meaning of Shi-gak. When I was a child, I was deeply impressed by my grandfather’s every working moment. It is very difficult to shape the space between moments like the meaning of Shi-gan. Shi-gan is more closely connected with a person who resides in the space between moments than Shi-gak. Every single moment of my grandfather’s effort turned into a heritage that has been passed onto me. I want to express the beauty of the Korean word Shi-gan in my graduation project. This will enable us to confront the passage of time, which is easy to miss. I chose paper as my main material and inspiration. I spent my childhood in a traditional house built by my grandfather. Papers were pasted and layered on doors and windows in the house. The elaborate paper doors and windows have become more beautiful as time went by. I laid a thin sheet of paper upon another repeatedly and steadily. I tried to enjoy the passage of time. The repeated actions show the workmanship which I got from my grandparents. And the paper objects were shaped to be placed in the most emotional and sensitive places – hands, shoulder, and breast – to be the expressed heritage that has been passed onto me. People who touch my pieces immediately know my time and my craftsmanship. As the shapes made of paper decrease, this represents natural extinction by death, worn-out by contact. The pieces will be worn out after a long time, but the vanished fragments will be transformed into a remembrance. My project is about traces left in our consciousness.
Liesbet Bussche. Installation: Seeking Shimmer: the Antwerp Diamond District, 2016. Adhesive letters, paper, photoprint.. 84.1 x 59.4 cm. Liesbet Bussche
Installation: Seeking Shimmer: the Antwerp Diamond District, 2016
Adhesive letters, paper, photoprint.
84.1 x 59.4 cm
© By the author. Read Copyright.
Fan Wang. Bracelet: Return, 2016. Wood, lasercut, brass.. 20 x 10 x 5 cm. Photo by: Fan Wang. Fan Wang
Bracelet: Return, 2016
Wood, lasercut, brass.
20 x 10 x 5 cm
Photo by: Fan Wang
© By the author. Read Copyright.
Fan Wang. Necklace: Return, 2016. Wood, lasercut.. 50 x 25 x 20 cm. Photo by: Fan Wang. Fan Wang
Necklace: Return, 2016
Wood, lasercut.
50 x 25 x 20 cm
Photo by: Fan Wang
© By the author. Read Copyright.
Lynn Hofmann. Head Piece: VUCA, 2016. Plastics.. 20 x 15 x 13 cm. Lynn Hofmann
Head Piece: VUCA, 2016
20 x 15 x 13 cm
© By the author. Read Copyright.
Lynn Hofmann. Hand Piece: VUCA, 2016. Copper, suction cups.. 45 x 15 x 2 cm. Lynn Hofmann
Hand Piece: VUCA, 2016
Copper, suction cups.
45 x 15 x 2 cm
© By the author. Read Copyright.
Sangji Yun. Hand Piece: Shi-gan, 2016. Paper. 22 x 9 x 4 cm. From series: The passage of time. Sangji Yun
Hand Piece: Shi-gan, 2016
22 x 9 x 4 cm
From series: The passage of time
© By the author. Read Copyright.
Sangji Yun. Hand Piece: Shi-gan, 2016. Paper. 22 x 9 x 4 cm. From series: The passage of time. Sangji Yun
Hand Piece: Shi-gan, 2016
22 x 9 x 4 cm
From series: The passage of time
© By the author. Read Copyright.