Month: November 2012

RE:WORK Sculpture and Accessory by Emily Bixler

Gallery Lulo Gallery Lulo in Healdsburg, California, is a collaborative effort between artist Karen Gilbert and Anne-Katherine Schjerbeck. Their gallery has grown in the past three years, and recently they opened an additional space. This month’s show Re:Work Sculpture and Accessory is the first one in the new space and features the dexterous artist Emily Bixler. It has been interesting to observe the blurring of the lines between disciplines in contemporary jewelry, and this show is an excellent example of it.

Susan Cummins: Your work is a blur of sculpture, craft, fiber, and jewelry. Would you explain your educational background?

Emily Bixler: I entered Pacific Northwest College of Art (Portland, Oregon) as a painter but quickly shifted focus after my first welding class. Form and the placement of objects in space mesmerized me. I started experimenting with installation and the way an entire room creates a composition. Sculpture opened up a whole world of materials and textures as well. The school I attended did not have a proper fiber department, however, so I would lug my sewing machine around with me to class. Post college I had several jobs that I sought out as opportunities to explore methods of craft—working in the knitwear industry, as a milliner’s assistant, seamstress, and jewelry designer.

RE:WORK Sculpture and Accessory by Emily Bixler

RE:WORK Sculpture and Accessory by Emily Bixler in new gallery space, Gallery Lulo, Healdsburg, California, USA, photo: Karen Gilbert Susan Cummins: Your work is a blur of sculpture, craft, fiber, and jewelry. Would you explain your educational background? Emily Bixler: I entered Pacific Northwest College of Art (Portland, Oregon) as a painter but quickly shifted …

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Mirror, Mirror: Curated by Ben Lignel and Jo Bloxham

Lauren Kalman, Certainly Red, 2012, video installation, duration: 2 hours 34 minutes, photo: Enrico Bartolucci, Paris The international team of Jo Bloxham from England and Ben Lignel from France (our new editor) curated this exhibition, and Velvet da Vinci is its only US venue. Gallery owners Mike Holmes and Elizabeth Shypertt have a large and …

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Taweesak Molsawat: The Missing Elements of Democracy-Art Jewelry As A Political Critic

Taweesak Molsawat Given the recent political juggernaut in the USA, it is only fitting that we consider what is going on in another part of the world. This time it is Thailand.

The AJF’s ATTA Gallery is in Bangkok, and Taweesak Molsawat is the artist who is questioning the politics of his country with a show called The Missing Elements of Democracy: Art Jewelry as a Political Critic. This is an excellent example of an exhibition that attempts to use jewelry to political and critical effect. See if you think it succeeds.

Susan Cummins: Taweesak, would you describe some of the missing elements of democracy in Thailand?

Taweesak Molsawat: The word democracy originates from the Greek δημοκρατία (dēmokratía) or ‘rule of the people.’ This is the direct democracy system. The core concept of modern democracy is ‘government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth’—this is indirect democracy. This concept has not worked as it is supposed to in today’s political system in Thailand. There are many significant factors that cause problems, but this body of work focuses on two elements: the politicians and the people (citizens of Thailand). These two elements—the real representation of the people and an understanding of the true concept of a democratic electoral system—have been missing in Thai government. The politicians are not representatives of the people, and democracy is not just a vote for personal gain.

BUGGY: Taweesak Molsawat: The Missing Elements of Democracy: Art Jewelry As A Political Critic

Taweesak Molsawat Given the recent political juggernaut in the USA it is only fitting that we consider what is going on in another part of the world. This time it is Thailand. The AJF gallery ATTA is in Bangkok and Taweesak Molsawat is the artist who is questioning the politics of his country with a show called The Missing Elements of Democracy: Art Jewerly as a Political Critic. This is an excellent example of an exhibition that attempts to use jewelry to political and critical effect. See if you think it succeeds.

Susan Cummins: Taweesak, would you describe some of the missing elements of democracy in Thailand?

Taweesak Molsawat: The word democracy originates from the Greek δημοκρατία (dēmokratía) or ‘rule of the people.’ This is the direct democracy system. The core concept of modern democracy is ‘government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth’—this is indirect democracy. This concept has not worked as it is supposed to in today’s political system in Thailand. There are many significant factors that cause problems, but this body of work focuses on two elements: the politicians and the people (citizens of Thailand). These two elements—the real representation of the people and an understanding of the true concept of a democratic electoral system—have been missing in Thai government. The politicians are not representatives of the people, and democracy is not just a vote for personal gain.

You say in your artist’s statement: ‘In this body of work, I am particularly interested in exploring jewelry and the body of the wearer as a way of communicating a political message.’ Why did you settle on jewelry as a form of communication in this way? What are its strengths as an art form?

Taweesak Molsawat: Art communicates through visual and non-visual means. The subject matters of art originate from culture and society, therefore art is an instrument to critically and creatively examine culture and society.

In today’s commodity society, one is constantly moving. The way one dresses is the way one expresses oneself. Therefore, and unavoidably, one’s body has become a moveable channel for cultural communication. One cannot change the politicians and the political system, but one can influence the individual and people around them at intimate levels. One can communicate and educate people about the missing elements in democracy. Jewelry is an effective art form for direct and emotional communication to the public on a deeper personal level than other media. Jewelry can communicate to one person at a time, saying a lot without speaking.

Taweesak Molsawat Susan Cummins: Taweesak, would you describe some of the missing elements of democracy in Thailand?

Taweesak Molsawat: The word democracy originates from the Greek δημοκρατία (dēmokratía) or ‘rule of the people.’ This is the direct democracy system. The core concept of modern democracy is ‘government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth’—this is indirect democracy. This concept has not worked as it is supposed to in today’s political system in Thailand. There are many significant factors that cause problems, but this body of work focuses on two elements: the politicians and the people (citizens of Thailand). These two elements—the real representation of the people and an understanding of the true concept of a democratic electoral system—have been missing in Thai government. The politicians are not representatives of the people, and democracy is not just a vote for personal gain.

You say in your artist’s statement: ‘In this body of work, I am particularly interested in exploring jewelry and the body of the wearer as a way of communicating a political message.’ Why did you settle on jewelry as a form of communication in this way? What are its strengths as an art form?

Taweesak Molsawat: Art communicates through visual and non-visual means. The subject matters of art originate from culture and society, therefore art is an instrument to critically and creatively examine culture and society.

In today’s commodity society, one is constantly moving. The way one dresses is the way one expresses oneself. Therefore, and unavoidably, one’s body has become a moveable channel for cultural communication. One cannot change the politicians and the political system, but one can influence the individual and people around them at intimate levels. One can communicate and educate people about the missing elements in democracy. Jewelry is an effective art form for direct and emotional communication to the public on a deeper personal level than other media. Jewelry can communicate to one person at a time, saying a lot without speaking.

Sam Tho Duong: lemitcA

Sam Tho Duong Stefan Friedemann and Laura Lapachin, owners of Ornamentum Gallery in Hudson, New York, trained as metalsmiths in Pforzheim, Germany. It was there they met fellow student Sam Tho Duong. Now these many years later, the three are still connected—one is an exceptional artist and two run an exceptional gallery.

Sam Tho Duong has developed a very clever way of using yogurt containers to make elegant necklaces with surprising variations. His show is called lemitcA, and no I didn’t make a mistake with the name. All the images in this article are of the same piece—how fascinating is that?

You can find the story of how Ornamentum Gallery came into being, Stefan and Laura’s thinking about the jewelry market, and their favorite pieces on our website.

Susan Cummins: Sam, for a number of years you were working on a series called Frozen, which consisted of necklaces and brooches with branch-like forms covered in tiny pearls. This new work looks entirely different. Can you tell us how you started working on it?

Unexpected Pleasures: The Art and Design of Contemporary Jewellery

To have an international exhibition of contemporary jewelry in the National Gallery of Victoria (NGV) – the first it has ever hosted – is quite a coup. In Unexpected Pleasures: The Art and Design of Contemporary Jewellery, an exhibition of 186 works by 126 makers from around the world, jeweler Susan Cohn has managed something many …

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Liisa Hashimoto: Light Fiction

Shibumi Gallery April Higashi’s Shibumi Gallery, in Berkeley, California, is having a wonderful show by Japanese artist Liisa Hashimoto. The installation of the show is very energetic and imaginative, like a playground.

Susan Cummins: I understand that you live in Osaka, Japan, but went to school to learn metalsmithing in America. Is that correct, and if so, can you tell me who you studied with and where?

Liisa Hashimoto: Yes, I live in Osaka now. I have my studio here, too. After graduating from high school, I went to America and learned metalsmithing under Ms. Yoshiko Yamamoto at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, Massachusetts.

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