Artist-made and -designed jewelry was somewhat of a trend in the
20th century: Picasso
delved into jewelry design early on in his
career, creating a series of cast-silver pendants with the help of his dentist;
is renowned for his
handmade jewelry, inspired by the idea of wearable mobiles; and Salvador Dalí
picked out rubies, sapphires, and pearls, and
hired craftsmen to translate his Surrealist motifs into decadent, wearable art.
This tradition continues into the present through major artists including Frank Stella
, Jeff Koons
, and Anish Kapoor
, and a strong collector base. Munich’s Micheko
engages this dialogue
through their current exhibition “MASS
,” featuring three young Asian jewelry artists Sungho Cho
, Akiko Kurihara
, and Fumiki Taguchi
Each artist responds in one way or another to “MASS,” the German
word for “measure.” Japanese artist Fumiki Taguchi explains that he took a
personal approach to using measurements, recognizing the intimate nature of
jewelry. With intentions to break with common conceptions like “big = heavy,
small = light,” he created elegant works like 2400mm,
a silver bracelet that resembles a delicate ribbon of tape measure and ballooned
form, a thick gold ring that appears to be filled with air.
South Korean artist Sungho Cho creates brooches from reclaimed
materials including plastic and plywood. He explains that he chose to
experiment with plywood, “a comparatively cheap material, which we use in
construction and carpentry,” and transform it into jewelry, to broaden the
“traditional views of the jewelry world.” Each of his works are the result of
careful measurement and use of the metric system; his square brooch is a
flat, circular disk comprised of many tiny strips of plywood and leather, aligned
carefully to resemble a small geometric painting.
Also from Japan, Akiko Kurihara has created jewelry since the age
of 15, and presents works that are meant to provoke and delight; she remarks,
“I expect that humor in my work would connect me to a person wearing my piece,
as well as to people seeing the piece.” Kurihara’s works are simple, extremely
wearable pieces that express her adept artistic eye through merging elegant
aesthetics with wit. Her smile and tears and percentage necklaces
cleverly combine multiple precious metals, while her the truth in the mirror brooch
features text that can only be read properly while looking in the mirror.
“MASS” is on view at Micheko Galerie, Munich, Mar.