florence jewellery week 2022 (p.1): preziosa young

Florence Jewellery Week (FJW) is an annual event with exhibitions, debates, demonstrations, and conferences at various locations around the city of Florence, Italy, highlighting artistic research, craftsmanship, new technologies, sustainability, and recycling in contemporary artisanal and artistic jewelry practice. This year, it is taking place April 28 – May 2, 2022. I haven’t been able to all venues, but I was able to see the main ones and will be sharing some highlights.

PRECIOUS YOUNG

The Galleria del Palazzo Coveri on the Lungarno Guicciardini, hosts the works of five emerging jewelry artists who won the 2021 PREZIOSA YOUNG international competition, organized by Le Arti Orafe (LAO), aiming to promote new talents in research jewelry. Artists exhibiting are: Xinia Guan (China / USA), Anne Lahn Hornbæk Hansen (Denmark), Pilynn Siriphanich (Thailand), Charlotte Vanhoubroeck (Belgium), and Zhipeng Wang (China / Germany). There is also a nice catalog that accompanies the exhibition.

I was most impressed by the work of Xinia Guan, not only by the sheer technical aspects, but also by the beautifully intricate and delicate patterns of the pierced metal and dimensionality of the forms. The cuts are all sawed by hand, which certainly requires immense patience, control, and a “meditative” concentration, as the artist describes this diligent process.

Charlotte Vanhoubroeck, an art historian, as well as a jeweler, recreates the narrative of a historical figure based on her documented collection of jewelry. The artist has poetically redefined the description of these personal adornments into a contemporary sentiment and definition of the character.

The work of Pilynn Siriphanich is organic and sensual in the sense that the material and forms are obtained by using natural fibers to create a sustainable and light-weight material that seems like plastic waste. Ironically, rather than actually using recycled plastics, the artist has invented a compound that resembles such, but will not eventually harm the environment.

Using tea and coffee as a base materials, Zhipeng Wang creates bold pieces with organic and non-precious materials with cultural significance. The values defined by Eastern and Western traditions of the two contrasting symbols have been distilled into the habits of our quotidian lives.

Anne Lahn Hornbæk Hansen uses colorful enamel to illustrate these badges of “body positive” messages harking back to the artist’s own personal struggles of body image in this social media selfie era. Instead of perfection, here the artist celebrates the beauty in the imperfect.

Info: www.preziosa.org

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