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Lin Cheung: Without You I Am Nothing

Workshop  /  24 Apr 2012  -  27 Apr 2012
Published: 23.08.2012
Lin Cheung: Without You I Am Nothing.
St Lucas University College of Art & Design Antwerp
Management:
Hilde De Decker
.

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Intro
Lin Cheung’s work revolves around the social, cultural and personal bonds between jewellery pieces and their owners. In April 2012 she held a workshop at St Lucas University College of Art & Design.
British contemporary jewellery artist Lin Cheung, a lecturer and teacher at Central Saint Martins (London), came to Antwerp to lead the workshop ‘ Without You I Am Nothing,’ intended for second and third year bachelor students. In brief, Lin Cheung’s work approach revolves around the social, cultural and personal bonds between jewellery pieces and their owners, and she visualises the hidden values perceived in jewellery. To communicate her findings, Lin Cheung searches for various platforms to present her artwork. This perspective relates to the research project ‘UnScene: Jewellery and Presentation,’ by the St Lucas University College of Art and Design Antwerp, Jewellery Design|Silversmithing department.

Prior to the workshop the students were asked to bring in several items from their kitchen. The items were divided into five groups: broken or out of order, new and never used, unwanted gifts, things that are the same but different, and two recipes. One of those recipes needed to be a favourite the student knew very well, and the other a new one, but attractive in a certain way.

A large table functioned as a display for the objects brought by the students, and after each item was placed in the right group, Lin Cheung started to discuss each one with the students. The careful and thorough examination of each item – no matter how invaluable, whether financially or emotionally – created a state of mind of unlimited opportunities for these things. The collection of recipes was discussed last, and led to the first assignment: drawing the steps of both recipes from the students’ experience with the recipe instead of the cookbook’s instructions – an unconventional way of dealing with something as familiar as drawing and cooking!
Through individual discussions of the drawings with each student, Lin Cheung encouraged a fresh way of thinking about the interpretation of domestic kitchen objects. Picking up on the interesting parts of the drawing, the students could continue with three-dimensional work. The objects they were creating had yet to be assigned a function, use or name. By working in the reverse order to how designers normally proceed, Lin Cheung triggered reflection on the relationship with, and character of, the object, i.e., kitchen tools.

Crucially, the objects did not necessarily need to have a function, but had the potential to have a function or be useful through the insight of its beholder. Using the materials at hand – out of the four groups of kitchen items and materials around the workshop – the students explored a new and intuitive creative process, boosting their confidence and personal growth. It resulted in communicative pieces, reminiscent to some extent of usage, yet without having an obvious function.

On the last day of the workshop, the objects were exhibited on one long table. Each piece had its own number, given on a white pin. Visitors to the exhibition were invited to fill in a small questionnaire that read:

WITHOUT YOU I AM NOTHING
Object no.:
I have yet to be given a name, a function or a context. Please tell me what you think I could be used for and where you think I belong in the world of objects.
Please give me a name:
Please give me a function:
Please give me a context:

The responses were collected and shown on a special display as an integral part of the exhibition. It was surprising to notice the differences between the name, function, and context the public assigned the objects and the range of answers given.

This summer (2012), Lin Cheung will exhibit some of the students’ objects in Salzburg Cathedral alongside her own work. Visitors there will also be encouraged to fill in the questionnaire and show their insight into the artworks.
- Broes van Iterson
Lin discussing the objects brought by the students on the first day.
Lin discussing the objects brought by the students on the first day

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the results of Hervée Darmont.
the results of Hervée Darmont

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and Elise Geers.
and Elise Geers

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guessing what the new objects could be.
guessing what the new objects could be

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how they function (work : Tibby De Volder).
how they function (work : Tibby De Volder)

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or in which context they belong (work : Octave Vandeweghe).
or in which context they belong (work : Octave Vandeweghe)

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writing down the imaginary answers.
writing down the imaginary answers

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because without the meaning of the audience, the objects are nothing.
because without the meaning of the audience, the objects are nothing

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.

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Appreciate APPRECIATE