I see jewelry as a tangible media more than a solemn object. Myung Urso interviewed by Klimt02

Interview  /  Artists
Published: 29.10.2019
Myung Urso Myung Urso
Edited by:
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Myung Urso. Brooch: Abundance 05, 2019. Paper pulp, pigment, sterling silver, lacquer.. 7 x 10.5 x 2 cm. From series: Abundance. Myung Urso
Brooch: Abundance 05, 2019
Paper pulp, pigment, sterling silver, lacquer.
7 x 10.5 x 2 cm
From series: Abundance
© By the author. Read Copyright.

I do not pursue perfection with my work, which is one of Korean aesthetic on beauty. Therefore, I consider hand-made as being a crucially important aspect of my work. Meanwhile, I maintain my use of organic or natural materials hoping that this work becomes sustainable over some decades.
What's local and universal in your artistic work?
I could interpret the word local as my personal experiences and expressions, which directly influence my work. This could be implied also as an intimate relationship with each piece I make during my working process. When my work is completed then it is already universal. The work does not belong to me any longer.

What do you expect when you show your work to the public (for example, with an exhibition)?
I rather hope to be connecting or engaging with other individuals through my artwork. If my work stimulates or brightens one's spirit I would say the piece has a good value. I often get feedback from some of my collectors saying that they feel joy when wearing my jewelry pieces. This could be one of the most important reasons I make jewelry for.

How important is handmade for you in your development? What role does technics and technology play in your development?
In this digital period of time, many jewelry artists work mostly with their hands, which is regarded as a typical analogue. I think it is important using hand skill while new technology develops every day. I personally do not feel comfortable with highly crafted work or jewelry pieces where technique dominates. It is too cold for me, which is entirely my personal taste. I see jewelry as a tangible media more than a solemn object. Additionally, I do not pursue perfection with my work, which is one of Korean aesthetic on beauty. Therefore, I consider hand-made as being a crucially important aspect of my work. Meanwhile, I maintain my use of organic or natural materials hoping that the work becomes sustainable over some decades.

When you start making a new piece what is your process? How much of it is a pre-formulated plan and how much do you let the material spontaneity lead you?
I actually start my work from touching materials with my hands directly. I generally do not have a pre-set plan or sketch for my ideas. I am also an observer for how my work evolves. This way is quite risky at the same time adventurous. I believe over-planning kills the magic. I also appreciate Pablo Picasso’s quotes, When I haven’t blue I use red. and I begin with an idea and then becomes something else. That is exactly how I work.

Are there any other areas besides the jewels present in your work?
Korean calligraphy is the most important element in my work. The free-flowing brush stroke is my native language, directly or indirectly affecting all of my art forms. Poems and children’s songs that I sang when I was young serve as an influence. My major for the master’s degree was fibre art so that my work also presents soft-sculpture forms.

How important is wearability in contemporary jewellery? And in your pieces?
Wearability defines jewelry as a particular art form. It also limits jewelry in a certain level of expression whilst there is also a huge benefit with its mobility. I often challenge myself to broaden boundaries regarding jewelry as artwork so that I intend that my work can be hanging on a wall while not being worn and as far as I know, many of my clients do that.  I consider wearability is an essential value in jewelry, simultaneously visual expression as an art form is equally important in my work. I also see that large scale of contemporary body ornament or artwork broadens the contemporary art jewelry phenomena. Though I would not consider any art jewelry leaving a body.

The last work, book, film, city that moved me was...
I recently returned from six months off time from making jewelry. Disconnecting social media and away from my jewelry bench refreshed me.  In this period, I read the Bible again; especially the books of Genesis and Psalm stimulated me.

What/who is the biggest influence in your career?
Surely my Korean/Asian culture, my personal history and nature are the biggest influences for my jewelry career.

Which piece or job gave you more satisfaction?
I recently participated in the Steinbeisser gastronomy project, which is based in the Netherlands. I made over 30 plates from clay and paper pulp, which were motivated by my recent solo show, titled Trans-Form. I thoroughly enjoyed making those pieces in larger than jewelry scale, which can also be wall pieces. This experience challenged me in terms of scale and particular usage as tableware. The material, paper pulp that I used for the project inspired me, creating new body of jewelry work, Abundance series.

Myung Urso. Plate: Site-Black, 2017. Paper pulp, eco-friendly resin. 25 x 23 x 2 cm
Part of Steinbeisser gastronomy project.

Myung Urso. Plate: Site-Mint, 2017. Paper pulp, eco-friendly resin. 24 x 22 x 5 cm
Part of Steinbeisser gastronomy project.

What is your source to get information?
Definitely, my smart smartphone. This little handful tool leads me reaching to the end of the planet from where I am. Though I prefer my daily life to be simple so that I rather want to avoid getting too much information about the world. Information from nature could be the most important source to me in both my daily life and studio life.

Considering the experiences you have had over the years - if you could go back and give yourself a piece of advice for the start-up phase, what would that be?
The first love toward my work remains both in the past as it does now.

Can you describe your personality in 3 words, describe your work in 3 words.
Likewise, other humans, I have many different sides of personality so that it does not sound right for me to identify myself with only three words. I can though describe my work with the words Intuitive, Innovative and Spontaneous.