Wednesday, July 29, 2009

KIWON WANG

14K Gold and Sterling Silver Piece
from Furniture for Pearls Collection
The Korea Botanical Garden has plenty for us to see and explore.

As we step inside the Indoor Exhibition Hall, the refreshing fragrance of wild chrysanthemums and chamomile is immediately evident.

Korea is also the birthplace of featured jewelry designer Kiwon Wang.

Wang's remarkable artistic vision manifests into fantastic designer jewelry that is as amazing as it is beautiful.

Since 1993, the Korean-born jewelry artist has lived in the United States of America. Before making the U.S. her home, she actively pursued extensive knowledge in jewelry and metalsmithing.

In 1989, she earned a Bachelor of Arts in Jewelry and Metalwork from Georgia State University; while on break from Georgia State, Wang traveled to Cortona, Italy to study art history and jewelry at the Summer School of Art.

In 1993, she received a Masters of Fine Arts in Jewelry and Light Metal from the Rhode Island School of Design. She has also worked as an exhibit designer for the Atlanta International Museum in Georgia, and the Woods Gerry Gallery in Providence, Rhode Island.

Wang's appetite for combining different techniques, materials, and aesthetics is voracious. Though her creative expression is in the form of jewelry, her designs reflect more of an interest in creating art rather than fashion.

"My work is the meeting and interplay between materials and forms, methods, techniques and literature," she says. Incorporating literature in her designs is not based in abstracts, she does this literally.

Her Paper paper Collection and Paper Pearl Collection highlight inventive contemporary art jewelry using newspapers, pages from books, and rice paper.  In her Paper paper Collection pieces of newspaper are shaped into tubular and cylindrical forms; then they are fashioned in an array of other forms like spirals or doughnut shapes suspended from steel cables.

For her Paper Pearl Collection she implements 14-karat gold, sterling silver, and beautiful gemstones including pearls. With these materials, she creates breathtaking, sculptural designs resembling ethereal organisms with multiple pearls attached to thin, limb-like structures protruding from paper cylinders.

Wang also creates stunning tiaras. In one instance, the tier section is made from seemingly flowing strands of sterling silver; while another is composed of tightly packed, stacked paper discs accented with pearls.

Since 2000, galleries from around the globe have exhibited Wang's spectacular jewelry. Exhibitions have been held in the United States, Germany, England, and Taiwan.

In April of this year, Wang's distinctive designs were exhibited in the Smithsonian Craft Show, and she recently completed an exhibition at the Fuller Craft Museum in New England.

14K Gold and Sterling Silver Necklace with
Pearl, Peridot, Carnelian, Amethyst, and
Citrine Suspended from Steel Cable
(Paper Pearl Collection)
Wang served as curator of the Fuller Craft Museum's exhibition, The Sixth Sense: Contemporary Jewelry in Korea.

The exhibition ran from January 31 through July 26, 2009, and highlighted the "spiritual and aesthetic" components of Korean jewelry.

"The art of jewelry making and metalwork is growing and has become more prosperous in Korea," Wang says, "This exhibition will provide westerners with an intimate look at the quality of Korean jewelry."


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