Wednesday, May 28, 2014

TZU-JU CHEN

Lotus Necklace with Paper Money,
Kingfisher Feather Inlay, Coral,
Turquoise and Monofilament
Located in the Chinese province of Sichuan, Dazu County is renowned for its stunning rock carvings. 

Included among the rock carvings are “fifty thousand statues of Buddha.”  China is also the ancestral home of featured jewelry designer Tzu Ju Chen.

The variegated, colonic outlines of Chen’s spray foam cuff bracelets are just what you would expect from a contemporary art jewelry maker.  They are unabashedly odd yet provocative. 

Designs such as these provoke thought-- any thought--even if you do not “get” the point of the piece.  Ultimately the heart of contemporary art jewelry is ambiguity both in style and an observer’s response.

For her eclectic range of collections Chen explores themes of ceremonial offerings, travel, symbols and architecture.  She fearlessly combines seemingly opposing materials that meld together to produce alternately unusual, ethereal and sublime creations. 

She implements wire, metal, electroform processes, and pliqué-a-jour enameling proving that creativity is an electric almost impulsive force.
Spray Foam Organic Space Bracelets with Paint,
and Reflective Tape
“My work explores the conceptual play of material and meaning.  I have developed pieces through creative processes that connect mind and hand, and abstract ideas and tangible forms, in the medium of jewelry,” says the graduate of Rhode Island School of Design.

“I combine traditional materials like sterling silver and 18-karat gold with unexpected materials like glue in order to elevate the perception and status of materials like glue.  I hope to re-assign their function as jewelry.  Through these methods I create new context.

My pieces are complete objects on their own but are enhanced when they are worn.  They integrate with the wearer by reflecting and shadowing a person’s body and movements.  The experience of jewelry on the human form is dynamic.”
Electroformed Copper and Cast Crystal Rings

2014 Jewelry Trend AlertThough clearly not mainstream, many of Chen’s daring contemporary art designs fit the year’s style trends.  

Chen’s oversized spray foam cuffs as well as strong and muted color schemes are on point for the New Year.
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