Clear Curves, Clear Vision. MJW2019 Exhibition Review.

Published: 26.03.2019
Yuxi Sun Yuxi Sun
Yuxi Sun
Edited by:
Edited at:
Edited on:

© By the author. Read Copyright.

Before my trip to Munich Jewellery Week, I was making a plan for the exhibition tours in the city. I had already seen a series of photo shooting that HSD (Hochschule Düsseldorf, University of Applied Sciences) especially made for this exhibition - Clear Curves, it's about the students’ and graduates’ work, and I liked them: from the pieces to the photos, they present an organized and clean setting. It’s such a comfortable and a bright feeling to view them. For my curiosity, I also prepared some questions to the professor, graduates and students from HSD in order to know more about school, course and their work, How clear are you? Conversation with HSD teachers, graduates and students.

中文版 - Chinese version      View / hide description

Let’s have a look at a series of photos that I mentioned from the beginning:

From left to right: work by Karin Maisch, Eunok Cho, Karin Heimberg.

From left to right: work by Constanze Prechtl, Beru Inou and Constanze Chrosch.

From left to right, work by 
Alessa Joosten, Kristina Wirsching, Esther Heite.

After that, let’s have a look at the concept and story behind some of the works:

Brooch: Zwischendinglich by Hayan Kim, 2017. Material: acrylic glass, silver, stainless steel. Photo by: Lennard Orths.

The brooch created by Korean artist Hayan Kim. Her creation mostly inspired by capturing moments, thoughts and feelings. This series of work presents the culture and language between Germany and Korea. If we understand the English, then we are able to read her text, just imagine you are reading English, but those English words are constructed by Korean words. After coming over to Germany, Hayan’s work is mostly based on her German life.

Work by Anna van Eck.

This series work is made by German artist Anna van Eck, she is a goldsmith and also sales manager, her Bachelor thesis was based on her own created typography called Read Me. Each letter turns into a new form by repositioning their own lines 180 degrees. Letters turn into forms and the forms are still letters. The fusion of letters and forms are creating a new statement.

Earrings: Rakugan by Beru Inou, 2015. Material: porcelain, silver. Size: 4 x 1.5 x 0.3 cm. Photo by: Lennard Orths.

Ring: Durch und durch by Mansuo Zhu, 2017. Material: stainless steel. Photo by: Lennard Orths.

The series ring is made by Chinese artist Mansuo Zhu. Mansuo’s creation is mainly inspired by human body language and gestures. Sketching the inspiration is usually the first step of his working process, all the rings here are based on his observation in daily life. Mansuo caught the different facial expressions surrounding, transformed them into jewellery pieces and then passed the emotions onto the viewers. Each piece has its own expression – naughty, stunned, happy, dorky, or sleepy. They all have their own character and sense of humour. 

Work by Sarah Reggensburger.

This series is called Same Same but Different by Sarah Reggensburger. All the pieces of jewellery in this collection are based on the same starting from. The individual appearance of each results from the different folding process of the two-dimensional form to a new solid. Sarah speaks about equality and diversity through her pieces.

Necklace: Hero 05/06 by Tereza Duskova, 2018. Material: porcelain, elastic ribbon. Photo by: Lennard Orths.

This piece is made by Tereza Duskova. Tereza focuses on social issue. She has discovered a way to be in touch with special people in everyday life, to feel them close without their compelling personal presence. Her solution is wearable jewellery, different objects that embody each one. It combines function, form material and colour to honestly capture the person and their current feeling.

(These are just a part of the whole exhibition, there are other interesting ones.)
Although the material used is very diverse, the concept behind is all different, there are still some keywords that we can quickly summarize those pieces from the first sight: minimalistic, geometric, clean and clear lines. 
I asked Karin Heimberg who is one of the organisers from the curating team, how they decided the exhibition title – Clear Curves, and what led them to make such photo shooting.
Karin said: We were brainstorming some keywords to connect with our work and concept, clear and curves are the most commonly mentioned words. Hence, while we were curating the setting for photo shooting and display, the keywords were also kept in our mind.

The gallery is located on the cross street and two French sashes brought in enough light to the exhibition space. A row of bracket lights are set in the cabinets close to the wall, each piece has its own light. 23 artists are the graduates or current students from HSD, they brought us a huge diversity of work in this room.
The display is also clean and clear, the bright yellow tapes on the floors are the guideline of this show, the audience just needs to follow the yellow signs, then they could find the additional information to the pieces easily.

In the middle of the gallery, a huge lightbox (later I know it’s water box) sat there, which had also contained many easy wear brooches, the price of the brooch was not clearly set (minimum 1 euro), visitors were free to make the decision, the price totally depended on the buyer. It questioned how you would value such a piece. From the lightbox to the souvenir like brooch, to the photo shooting HSD especially made, the main design element for this presentation was simple rectangle shape, the visual perception was perfectly matched with the exhibition title Clear Curves due to the display order.

So, how come?
Even students’ work were developed in many different ways, some are experimental, some are artistic and some are very design based, how come the majority of the works have the common elements in their work? Is it because of the city of Dusseldorf? Or because of the HSD? What’s the magic? What has such a big impact on students’ development?

I still remember while I was visiting and talking to one of the graduates Beru Inou last year in Dusseldorf, she showed me her studio, Beru told me about her creative process and her new finished pieces. As a Japanese, Beru has quite a strong sentiment for the nation, her works are full of the Japanese elements like traditional sugar (written as らくがん,落雁in kanji), super cute animal pattern, the punk Kawai style that is right on trend, and the Japanese myths Beru believes in – she is searching the balance between the perfection and imperfection. For instance, there is one series based on traditional Japanese culture, Beru looked into it, but she still ended up with a geometric shape to express her belief. Genkouan is a Zen temple, it locates in Kyoto, Japan.  There are two windows in the temple, the round window Satori no Mado (悟りの窓) represents perfect, the square window Mayoi no Mado (迷いの窓) represents imperfect. Beru took the essence from it made a series of necklaces which are in between perfection and imperfection, so what is she trying to express, and what is she searching for?

Necklace by Beru Inou.

Maybe Beru is looking forward to the perfection in this imperfect world.
No matter how various the stories are shown in Beru’s work, the style of the actual pieces are all kept in her style, they are geometric, they have to have clear edges and clean finish. This is what Beru told me while she was still deciding on some pieces, and those were exactly similar facts I found out at HSD exhibition. Everyone came from different backgrounds and hold different approaches, but most of the exhibiting pieces were straight to the point, they were clean and clear.

I had the chance to talk to one the HSD professor Jantje Fleischut, she thought the main reason for it should be the school course setting. During the study process in HSD, students do not only access the jewellery related theory and practical contents, they also have the opportunities to collaborate and make the project with the students from other disciplines. While they search for the uniqueness from the work, they also aim to make the serial of collection. HSD offers students certain opportunities to know about brand management or business study, because they hope their students’ would not limit themselves in the idea of artist. Majority of HSD graduates, they will not limit themselves to be only presented in a gallery or museum. In their opinion, the future is diverse, they also look forward to bringing their work into the shop, pop up market and concept store.

This is also another reason that the exhibition is called Clear Curves —— from those special photo shooting, I see the work are in a more clear way, and the designers who study or studied in HSD, their plan and expectation for the future after graduation is also clear with the support from HSD.

Additional Information:
From September 2019 / next Summer semester the title Applied Art and Design of our department will change into New Craft Object Design.
The content will still be the same > jewellery object and product design.

Karin Heimberg M.A. 
Prof. Jantje Fleischhut 

Exhibition Design
Nadine Nebel M.A. 

Graphic Design 
Yasmin Darwich 
Nadine Nebel 

Credits Product photography 
Lennard Orths, with supervision: Anne Müchler & Nico Schmitz

About the author

Yuxi Sun completed her Bachelor of Arts in Jewellery Design at Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design in 2015. She finished her Master of Fine Arts in Gemstone and Jewellery at the University of Applied Science Trier, Campus Idar-Oberstein in 2018. Meanwhile, she has been interning at Klimt02 since 2017.