The oddly named “WOHOOOH!!!” Exhibition devised by Tricia Tang and featuring contemporary jewellery designers from 5 countries opened to the public with a ceremony in Hong Kong on 24th November. The exhibition will tour to Sydney, Taipei and Bangkok.
Bringing together the visionary products of 10 postmodern jewellers from 5 culturally diverse nations, the exhibition attempts to ‘push the boundaries and materialistic disciplines inherent in the nature of contemporary jewellery’. Ms Tang discusses her role in WOHOOOH!!! as curator and participating artist alongside Taipai based haoshi design and Hong Kong artist Timbee Lo.
Where did the idea for the jewellery exhibition start?
I studied contemporary jewellery in Sydney, Australia and came back to Hong Kong afterwards. Ever since then, I dreamt of gathering Hong Kong contemporary jewellery artists for an exhibition in order to introduce contemporary jewellery to Hong Kong. Since it is such a rare subject there, it has taken me almost 10 years to know enough contemporary jewellers for a selection to exhibit.
Why the name “WOHOOOH!!!”?
The jewellery exhibition targets on appealing especially to local and global; engaging with people on an shocking level, in which the exhibition is titled, “WOHOOOH!!!”. This exhibition, “WOHOOOH!!!” presents a link and revolutionary mindset between art and the consumer product. The works in the exhibition will show the audience a different approach to contemporary art and design in everyday life (that is fine, commercial, custom, fashion and so called handmade craft jewellery).
As the curator what is your role?
As the curator of the exhibition, my role is to gather all the artists, finding all the spaces. I did not think a curator is an easy job to complete, but I have never thought a touring exhibition and working with artists from different regions can be such a difficult job and takes up so much of my time.
What is your link to the other artists?
I was hoping to get contemporary jewellers from various places for the exhibitions, I selected these jewellers, talked to them on the concept of the exhibition and we just fall on the same page.
As well as being the curator your design work is also featured. The series named ’10’ made up of ten rings each dedicated to ten important people in your life over the past ten years, How does each ring represent each person?
*To clarified, the 10 rings are not for them, but for myself to remember all the importance of these 10 people. The 10 rings fit with all of my 10 fingers. Each ring represents each person differently, through my memories of the person, my feeling towards that particular person; as well as the message I want to tell that person yet unable to describe in words.
Your collection is a series of animals that represent the emotions of urban people. What do you feel are the emotions that are faced by modern city dwellers in Taipei?
Every animal has different habit; the most obvious features of a giraffe, is of course the length of the neck which helps to look at things in boarder view, the stripes on zebra is similar to a road crossing, ducks gives a noisy impression, but their true character is kind and candid.
What is the symbolism behind your whole collection being white?
We deliberately adjusted the white colour to become plaster-like; therefore the works shows elegance like the plaster works in the museums. Each of those sculptures is hand crafted, the facial expressions and body is more vivid, and gives lives to those animals.
Where do you find sources of inspiration?
Different kind of humans live in the city like animals living in the forest, and search for their most happy way to live under the environment.
You collect objects to make your collections, what have you found recently and where?
I have recently found some retro Christmas decoration. I believe they can be made into jewelleries with European retro sentiment.
‘His’ or ‘her’ jewellery?
Since the Men’s market was small in the 90s, I believed there is a large possibilities, so I started with men’s jewellery. When I have my work for sale in shops, I have realized all most of the consumers are female and my men’s designs are as equally loved my female consumers.
What aspects of Hong Kong are inspirational to your work?
Nothing, I cannot find inspiration in Hong Kong at all. Instead, I found my inspiration from various artworks I have seen through browsing the internet. I once saw Alexander McQueen’s fashion show in a newspaper and realised fashion is something very interesting for me.
words Hannah Lindsay Fleming
The Jewellery Designers will tour with WOHOOH! from November 24th.