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Jewelry to Reflect the Spirit of Mutual Respect, Gender Proudness, and Equality. Interview with Dian Chen by Klimt02

Interview
Published: 08.10.2020
Dian Chen Dian Chen
Author:
Klimt02
Edited by:
Klimt02
Edited at:
Barcelona
Edited on:
2020
Dian Chen. Pendant: Cyborg Rainbow, 2019. Silver, aluminum, acrylic, stainless steel, rubber tube.. 11 x 6 x 20 cm. Photo by: Dian Chen. From series: Cyborg Rainbow. Dian Chen
Pendant: Cyborg Rainbow, 2019
Silver, aluminum, acrylic, stainless steel, rubber tube.
11 x 6 x 20 cm
Photo by: Dian Chen
From series: Cyborg Rainbow
© By the author. Read Klimt02.net Copyright.

Intro
Minorities in terms of sexual identity and sexual orientation normally face a similar and even worse situation then inequality that women normally face. There are a lot of similarities between the feminism campaign and the LGBTQ rights campaign and they are in fact sharing the same goal of enhancing mutual-respect and better protection of human rights.
Tell us about your background. What were your first influences to be creative and become an artist and what has drawn you to contemporary jewellery?
I practiced as a jewelry artist for five years on the topic of feminism and LGBTQ movements. The first time I realized the problem of gender inequality is that I found myself confronted by massive opposition when I told my family and relatives I wanted to go abroad to continue my study a few years ago. The reason is that a highly educated woman can’t find a good man to get married. After that, I started to pay attention to the different restrictions on women by society, both the invisible and visible aspects. There are indeed several important social-political problems calling our attention in the current world geopolitical context. Among them, the need for a campaign of gender equality, not only women’s right but also LGBTQ rights, is a long-lasting and persisting one, thus I want to use my jewelry as a tool to reflect the spirit of mutual respect, gender proudness, and support for equality to enable people who share the same beliefs in supporting LGBTQ rights campaigns make a clear, delightful yet elegant voice by wearing my jewelry. Contemporary jewelry is an extension of our physical body, a consolidation of the mind, an expression of who we are, and exploration of who we want to be, a materialized pure desire, and an aesthetic and spiritual weight-point. For me, jewelry can be a visual expression of our standing, a swift and sophisticated expression of complex attitude. It is an intimate sculpture that attaches to our body, forms part of our appearance and thus identity, and can be a perfect platform telling people who the wearer is without words rather than representing status and wealth in ancient times. 
 
 
How important is networking for you in your professional practice and what are your preferred tools for this?
Networking occupies a very unique position in my professional practice. On one hand, because my exploration direction is closely linked to political issues, like human rights and gender equality campaigns, networking can increase the exposure of my work and raise the awareness of people on this topic. On the other hand, I can research and find out more problems and related information in the current world through networking, especially about the gender minority group, thus my work can reach the society more actively.  


What are your general thoughts on the contemporary jewellery world, (education, market, development...), where do you see chances and where are dead ends?
I think there is a growing gap between the commercial side and the artistic side of jewelry in the current market. Less and fewer designers are willing to experiment with new material, designs and to ask the fundamental question: “what is jewelry?”. If the jewelry market development just focuses on the commercial benefit and with no concerns about the bigger picture, i.e. the ecological and political context of our shifting society and sustainability both on the environment and society (culture), such design, though be popular in a short term, will eventually make the industry less creative.


Thinking about your career, what role do technology and the digital play in your artistic development & communication?
My design requires accurate and free-going forms of metal, therefore, its production involves 3-D modeling and 3-D printing. I believe digital technology can help me visualize design ideas more easily, it saves time and money in the design and production process. I also sell most of my work online and negotiate with clients globally via Emails and Wechat, technology has certainly made the market connected tighter.
 

How has your work changed over the past few years and what are you excited about these days?
My previous work focus on feminism, the relationship between the female body and the outside world, like how society restricts women in both invisible and visible aspects. After I visited most women’s museums in Europe and UK and researched many archives, I deepened my understanding of the topic of gender and its fluidity, the development of women, feminism movements in history and today, and feminism jewelry pieces in the historical and current market. Such information supports my direction and desktop research on gender, female identity, and the theory of Rosi Braidotti and Donna Haraway. I realized the fluidity of gender and the complexity of identity, there are more sexual identities in the world then simply male and female. Moreover, minorities in terms of sexual identity and sexual orientation normally face a similar and even worse situation then inequality that women normally face. There are a lot of similarities between the feminism campaign and the LGBTQ rights campaign and they are in fact sharing the same goal of enhancing mutual-respect and better protection of human rights. I then re-organized my main direction both structurally and conceptually to achieve a more complex and wider concern. Now my exploration direction is to discuss the possibilities of how jewelry can be an effective interface between humans and place, body and objects, human to human relationship, especially in the context of political-right aspect, like the gender equality campaign.  
Appreciate APPRECIATE