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I began to realize that the way I think and the mentality of my works are absolutely coherent with my identity as a Chinese. Yujie Dai interviewed by Klimt02

Interview  /  Artists
Published: 16.07.2019
Yujie Dai Yujie Dai
Author:
Klimt02
Edited by:
Klimt02
Edited at:
Barcelona
Edited on:
2019
Yujie Dai. Installation: The Change & the Constant, 2019. Balloon, silver 925/1000, magnet, metal chair.. 60 x 60 x 75 cm. Yujie Dai
Installation: The Change & the Constant, 2019
Balloon, silver 925/1000, magnet, metal chair.
60 x 60 x 75 cm
© By the author. Read Klimt02.net Copyright.

Intro
Ever since when I was little, I have always been “touchy”, in the sense of liking to touch. The sense of touch intrigues me and it gives me millions of inspirations. Through the interaction of the material and my hands, I found my direction of creation.
What's local and universal in your artistic work?
I used to believe that my works don’t really show any signs of eastern cultural influence since I have been taught and trained within the field of western art. I myself even used to find Chinese art or even Chinese culture is far too difficult to comprehend when I was much younger. The magic really started to happen when I got back home in Beijing several years ago. Everything seemed so strange and unacceptable at the beginning but gradually became all reasonable after a while of observation and thinking. It took me quite some time to get to know my situation and I began to realize that the way I think and the mentality of my works is absolutely coherent with my identity as a Chinese.


What do you expect when you show your work to the public (for example, with an exhibition)?
Although I am the kind of person that usually couldn’t care less about what’s going on out there but I do care about what people think about my work, in the sense that I am curious about how they feel and what they think when they see it, not in the sense whether they like it or not. I would really enjoy the process of watching people gazing at my works or maybe even talk to some of them. In the last exhibition that I had, I installed numerous balloons on a metal chair and planned to encourage people to take them away at any price that they preferred. Maybe the viewers were behaving themselves and just a bit intimidated, or maybe because of the lack of instruction, only a dozen of them asked for permission. But I was still happy for their participation and get to know their feedbacks. I do believe this plays an important part in my work.


How important is handmade for you in your development? What role does technics and technology play in your development?
I do believe that hands, not only my hands but hands of anyone who depends on them, is one of the best gifts created by the superior power. Ever since when I was little, I have always been touchy, in the sense of liking to touch. The sense of touch intrigues me and it gives me millions of inspirations. Through the interaction of the material and my hands, I found my direction of creation. And only in this way it could happen.  I do appreciate the development of technology but it’s definitely not what I am fond of.


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?
Most of the time, I like to have ideas processing in my head for a quite long time before I really started to work on them, and usually, ideas that came up in this way don’t really work out until the end. Ironically, the most effective way for me to work is to start right at the material without any over-thinking. But c’est la vie and I couldn't control it all the time. Instinct is the key to how I work. Plans never work for me.


Are there any other areas besides the jewels present in your work?
The sculpture is a crucial part of my background, I truly believe my understanding of jewelry was elevated by the experience of creating sculpture. For me, there’s no clear boundary between these two fields. Well, as a matter of fact, for me there’s no boundary at all in all art forms. But sculpture and jewelry are quite close to each other, especially with contemporary jewelry. I am convinced that the inter-relationship between the object and the body or space is what makes the magic happen.


How important is wearability in contemporary jewellery? And in your pieces?
This is a quite tricky question in general, but I would only answer it in my own perspective since everyone is different. For me, this intimacy between the object and the human body is what I see vital for most of my work. The movement of the body not only creates extra content for jewelry but gives life to it. The exact point where the object touches the body or the garment empathizes its meaning and its weight, not to even mention the sensation on the skin. So I would say yes, wearability is very important for me.


The last work, book, film, city that moved me was...
The last book that touched me was probably the book by Fiona Stafford The Long Long Life of Trees. I believe most people tend to ignore the existence of these beautiful lives. I do love them and all other forms of plants, they are silent but they witnessed a lot of things that happened and that are going to happen.


What/who is the biggest influence in your career?
I would say my former teacher Lucia Massei, she inspired me and taught me what I am good at and how much more I should push myself. Thank You, Lucia!


Which piece of work gave you more satisfaction?
My last work gave me more satisfaction because I think there’s more about it I am definitely more excited about coming pieces related to it because there’s a lot more to work on.


What is your source to get information?
Usually, I get most of the information online like most people I guess, but for ideas and inspiration I do usually get them through talking to friends or seeing works of others, it could be books, films, artworks in different forms and even from nature. Nature is a gift to us all.


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?
Stick to what you love, believe in yourself and work on it.


Can you describe your personality in 3 words, describe your work in 3 words.
Imaginative, Compassionate, Curious.
Intriguing, Strange, Alive.
 
Yujie Dai. Brooch: The Change & the Constant, 2019. Balloon, silver 925/1000, magnet.. 2 x 2 x 5 cm. Yujie Dai
Brooch: The Change & the Constant, 2019
Balloon, silver 925/1000, magnet.
2 x 2 x 5 cm
© By the author. Read Klimt02.net Copyright.
Yujie Dai. Necklace: Karma, 2015. Silver 925/1000, plexi glass.. 21 x 21 x 2,6 cm. Yujie Dai
Necklace: Karma, 2015
Silver 925/1000, plexi glass.
21 x 21 x 2,6 cm
© By the author. Read Klimt02.net Copyright.
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