The Palace of Shattered Vessels. Munich Jewellery Week 2019 Exhibition Review

Published: 20.04.2019
Yuxi Sun Yuxi Sun
Yuxi Sun
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Exhibition venue at FRAME 2019 during Munich Jewellery Week..
Exhibition venue at FRAME 2019 during Munich Jewellery Week.

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At FRAME, visitors have great opportunities to view the work which is exhibited by the galleries around the world and they can easily spot their favourite artist’s work. In this year’s FRAME, I appreciate the stand from FROOTS & Nogart the most. If I am correct, FROOTS and Nogart is the first gallery from China which joins the FRAME. FROOTS & Nogart has two locations. One is in Shanghai, and the other locates in Beijing.

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The Majority of the top contemporary jewellery galleries gather together every year at FRAME during the Munich Jewellery Week, where they present their artists’ work heartfully at International Handwerk Messe.  Frame provides the opportunities to share the direct contacts among galleries, art jewellery collectors, buyers and enthusiasts. It also provides platforms a chance to share the artwork with a wider audience, as well present how each gallerist makes the effort on promoting art jewellery in the long run.

Among all the galleries, the reason I enjoy FROOTS the most is not only because the pieces they exhibit, but also it’s a collective exhibition they especially curate and organise for FRAME. FRAME is the first stop of this travelling exhibition, and it has travelled to Shanghai now. The venue in Shanghai will finish on the 7th of July.

The exhibition is named as The Palace of Shattered Vessels: Chinese Porcelain and Contemporary Jewelry. 40 artists from 13 countries are invited by FROOTS, and requested to re-create the piece based on the ancient Chinese porcelain vessel. What we see here are 140 unique jewellery pieces. The shattered vessel is the core of the exhibition, the starting point of each new creation, and the connection among all the participants. According to the FROOTS request, artists need to use the shard (or shards).  FROOTS is giving artists a free topic the tangible material. Each artist uses the shard from the ancient Chinese porcelain which made in Jingdezhen (shown as the image below. The pattern is covered the vase completely, so the shard(s) that artists are supposed to use is(are) also filled with pattern).

Images from the Internet.

The different ways of constructing the shard(s) do broaden my outlook. Some artists present the shard as the highlight of the whole piece; some artists refine the shard and apply it into the piece with other materials to make a balance; some artists dissolve the shard into the piece, leading to your forgetting the shard if you do not pay enough attention; some pay more attention to the ceramic culture, and then bring the concept into the piece… (p.s. dragon is a quite common concept when the west to talk about the east. Is this a kind of stereotype of Asia from the Western world?)

Let’s have a look together at how artists use the shard(s):
The shards in the following pieces were born with a new identity in the piece to continue their existence. They become the tongue of Tanel’s dragon, Mengnan’s tile-roofed house, Yasmin’s vessel, and the joints for Koen’s new pet (Koen likes to make movable animals and creatures from the myths, and what you see here is a dragon shape creature).

Necklace: Chinese Kiss I by Tanel Veenre, 2019. Material: bone, wood, cacholong, artificial bone, silverchina. Size: 30 cm. Wood sculpting, metalwork.

Brooch: Pick it up-Breezing by Mengnan Qu, 2019. Material: 24K yellow gold, 18k green gold, 14k yellow gold, fine silver, sterling silver, copper, enamel, keraflex porcelain, nova scotia earthenware, antique porcelain piece, steel. Size: 3.5 × 3.5 × 1 cm

Necklace: Vessel by Yasmin Vinograd, 2019. Material: porcelain, silver, basalt. Size: 9.5 × 8.7 × 2 cm.

Necklace: Chokhmah by Koen Jacobs, 2018. Material: silver, antique Chinese porcelain, pyrite, avaiki pearl. Size: 25 × 9 × 44 cm.

If you don’t look at it carefully, you might miss the shard(s) in Felieke, Trinidad and Ela’s pieces…

Necklace: PJ Parrot and the Blackfoot Lemon Birds by Felieke van der Leest, 2018. Material: textile, plastic animals, oxidized silver, porcelain, glass beads. Size: 45 × 18 × 3 cm.

Brooch: Stupa 1 by Trinidad Contreras, 2019. Size: porcelain, glass microspheres, pigment, epoxy, steel needle, piece of Chinese porcelain. Size: 8.2 × 8.2 × 3 cm.

Necklace: Untitled by Ela Bauer, 2018. Material: Chinese antique porcelain, resin, silicone. Size: 35 × 14 × 2 cm.

Kim, Nirit and Mari focuses on the shard itself by putting their pieces under the spotlight.

Brooch: Frame by Kim Buck, 2018. Material: 950 platinum, 999 gold, antique porcelain. Size: 4 × 5.5 × 2 cm.

Necklace: Holding Memories 2 by Nirit Dekel, 2018. Material: glass, silver, antique porcelain shards. Size: chain: 62 cm; pendants: 9.5 x 8 cm.

Necklace: Blue Dragon by Mari Ishikawa, 2019. Material: silver 925, silk, porcelain. Size: 44 × 3 × 1.5 cm.

Peter, Jichang, Xian’ou and Andrea refines the shard in order to bring the part to whole, and make the balance between the shard and other materials.

Brooch: Potters Pool Party 2 by Peter Hoogeboom, 2018. Material: antique porcelain, silver, gold. Size: 5.3 × 3.1 × 0.8 cm.

Brooch: Seem to be Loong by Jichang Chai, 2019. Material: acrylic, antique porcelain, brass, moonstone, rubber beads, shellfish beads, ceramic beads, lapis lazuli. Size: 9.5 × 8 × 3 cm. The Loong here refers to the dragon from Chinese mythology.

Brooch: Coexist-2 by Xianou Ni, 2019. Material: porcelain, brass, silver, lacquer, jade, gold foil, stainless steel. Size: 7 × 5.5 × 2.5 cm.

Brooch: Tranquil Waters Flowing Over The Sunken Palace Of Shattered Vessels by Andrea Wagner, 2018. Material: antique Chinese porcelain shards, silver, glass, glass/resin composite, paper, stainless steel (pins). Size: 13 x 6.5 x 5 cm. Photo by: Andrea Wagner From series: The Palace Of Shattered Vessels.

I would also like to mention the display stand from FROOTS gallery. The walls are divided into the various irregular square by black strings, so they are also like the irregular shards. Pieces on the walls are very close to each other, leaving limited space between. This is exactly like the shard from the vessel— the pieces are filled with pattern. Each shard is an individual piece, and each square on the wall is filled with the creation; shard forms the vessel, each square is connected because of the exhibition concept.

Exhibition venue at FRAME 2019 during Munich Jewellery Week.

FROOTS even organised artists’ talk for two days during the Munich Jewellery Week. They invited 17 artists to IHM (International Handwerk Messe) to talk about their project inspiration and process. I also prepared some questions to the curators, participating artists and the artists who were invited by FROOTS Gallery to make an artist-in-residence in Jingdezhen. Let’s have a look together at their thoughts about this exhibition and their insights of this project here. United by Different. Conversation with Artists and Curators of The Palace of Shattered Vessels Project.

The most interesting about this project for me is that the exhibition is like a short answer question (usually the last one on an exam paper). Although everyone took the same question, the answers are so diverse. Every artist was trying to make the best answer based on their own experience and technique skills.

The artist-in-residence programme pushed this project further in a more realistic way. The selected artists are not only receiving the material, and they had the chance to immerse in the environment. The interactions with the surrounds would surely bring more breathtaking pieces.

I am very looking forward to seeing the results from the artists who go to Jingdezheng, and as well as seeing this travelling exhibition ends in more galleries and in different countries. More audience will have the chance to view this visual feast which crosses over the time, place and culture.

Exhibition venue at FRAME 2019 during Munich Jewellery Week.

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.