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I believe that forums like this influence trends and transitions in student work for example. Much has changed from when I first started to make art jewellery; from having access to only a few books in the library up until today when website after website contains enormous amount of pictures and information.
Do you think that jewellery is being standardized?
I believe that forums like this influence trends and transitions in student work for example. Much has changed from when I first started to make art jewellery; from having access to only a few books in the library up until today when website after website contains enormous amount of pictures and information. Influence is now very accessible and quick and we are more close to each other regardless the distance. At the same time I don’t think jewellery is being standardizing if we look at the world as a whole. Many countries where jewellery is made are not even present here or on the Internet. Different types of jewellery have different intention and therefor jewellery can’t be standardized.
What is there of local and universal in your artistic work?
The local aspect in my work is represented by my interest in traditional techniques and symbols taken from the western world in which I live. I can’t say that the context of the jewellery is universal, since it might not be identified in the same way in another culture where the symbols have other meanings or no meaning. Jewellery as a form of expression is on the other hand universal. I don’t think my work is as local that it could be called “Stockholm jewellery”. I am influenced by my own spirit, intuition and fantasy world and the jewellery I make are reminders of me as a maker and portraits my feelings and experiences. The universal on the other hand is that I am connected to a cultural context, trained in an institution and that my feelings and emotions are universal to most humans.
What do you expect when exposing your work to the public (for example with an exhibition)?
Exhibitions can sometimes be demanding and strange situations after hours and hours in the workshop working on a single piece of jewellery. A lot of the time I work to the very last minute and the exhibition becomes the end of a long intense process. When I am in the studio I go very deep and obsessively into my work and its almost like I start to possess the material and it becomes mine. The process of making is what I love. An exhibition is the opposite of the process in the studio. This is the stage when I give my work away to someone else to experience and interpreted; this is when my own possession of the objects end. I can’t tell the audience how to feel when wearing or experience the objects. Interesting unexpected reactions and questions often come when people connect or question the work.
Are other areas besides the jewellery, present in your work?
There are a lot of areas to my art besides just making my own jewellery in my studio. I collaborate in diverse projects with different people to find different means to communicate. I am currently working on a project that I have initiated together with Rut-Malin Barklund titled “ALLA”. ALLA is a project where we have invited 30 jewellery artists living in Sweden to create unique brooches as a reaction to the theme of xenophobia. The projects have many different platforms (exhibition, performance, film, photo, text…) and this month our first published book will be delivered from the printmaker.
The last work, book, film, that has moved me was...
At the moment I am reading a book called “Rosa-Den farliga färgen” (Pink-the dangerous colour) by Fanny Ambjörnsson. The book addresses the colour pink and peoples attitudes to the colour. What do our reactions to the colour pink say about our contemporary time? I am interested in using and reinforce the status of attributes that are considered “feminine” in my own work.
A place, space, country whose creativity surprises me...
My own instincts and subconscious and the imagination and inventiveness of the children that surrounds me in my everyday life.
Is there any designer, jeweller, artist, you appreciate a lot?
There is a great amount of creative people that I appreciate, but to mention one; Teresa Margolles. Teresa’s work is often based around grief for the state of her hometown Ciudad Juárez. She is using materials like blood and body parts from crime scenes with the intention to alert problems of drugs and violence in Mexico and elsewhere.
What piece or work has given you the most satisfaction?
I must say that all the pieces in the series “Enough tears to cry for two”, 2008 has given me the most satisfaction. It was created in a period of my life when I was in a lot of pain. I don’t think I can ever re-create that kind of work again. It’s not my most favoured because of the jewellery’s aesthetics, but rather the strength it took from me to create that work.
Winner of the Klimt02 JPLUS Emerging Talent Award 2018 Shengyi Chen. Interviewed by Klimt0207Dec2018
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