Mill Valley, California, USA—Underscoring the global attraction of art jewelry, the five finalists for Art Jewelry Forum’s 14th annual Artist Award—selected from 123 entries representing 27 countries—will show their work at Schmuck, Germany’s renowned, international art jewelry fair in March. In the 2014 award cycle, Art Jewelry Forum (AJF), a global nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting the creation, study and appreciation of art jewelry, opened submissions for the top international prize for art jewelry to promising artists under age 35. In addition to a $7,500 cash prize for the winner and a one-year professional membership to AJF, the finalists win a coveted exhibition spot hosted by Platina Gallery (booth #B1.763) in the Frame section of the Schmuck exhibition hall from March 11 to 17.
Judged on the basis of the entry’s originality, depth of concept, and quality of craftsmanship, this year’s five AJF Artist Award finalists are: Attai Chen, Benedikt Fischer, Lauren Kalman, Heejoo Kim, and winner Seulgi Kwon.
Seulgi Kwon has been awarded the winner of the 2014 competition, selected by the jury for her originality, depth of concept, and quality of craftsmanship. Kwon’s work actively expresses the organic movements of plants, with their mysterious colors and constantly changing forms, creating texture with the materiality and transparency of silicone. Kwon received a master’s of fine art in metalwork and jewelry from Kookmin University, Seoul, Korea, in 2010.
Attai Chen creates work that follows a process of unraveling growth to a fully evolved form emerging from fragments of piled-up discarded scrap material. She earned her master’s of fine arts from the Academy of Fine Arts Munich, Germany, in 2011. Benedikt Fischer chooses to work with plastic, researching the aesthetics of our time by making objects that momentarily pause the high-speed industrial production process and outlast the usual intended lifespan of such material. Fischer was awarded a bachelor’s of design from Gerrit Rietveld Academie, Amsterdam, the Netherlands, in 2011.
Lauren Kalman creates jewelry that investigates contexts relating to sex, gender, power, pleasure, pain, taste, and beauty, in direct response to architect Adolf Loos’s 1910 lecture Ornament and Crime, which criticized the use of decoration in utilitarian objects. She is the 2006 recipient of a master’s of fine arts in art and technology from Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio, USA. Heejoo Kim feels a deep connection to her electroforming process, describing the wax object in the bath accumulating its metal layers as “life creation”—the passage of time represented in the thickness of piled layers, birthing works with a powerful, eternal vitality. Like Kwon, Kim is a graduate of Kookmin University, Seoul, Korea, earning her master’s in fine art in 2011.
This year’s finalists were selected by prominent professionals in the art jewelry field: Carin Reinders, director of the Coda Museum, Apeldoorn, the Netherlands; Karen Rotenberg, founder and director of Alianza Contemporary Craft and a collector of contemporary jewelry; and Sooyeon Kim, jewelry artist and winner of the 2013 award.
High resolution images available upon request.
About the Award
The 2014 AJF Artist Award provides tangible support for developing artists at a pivotal early stage of their careers, in the form of a $7500 US cash prize for the winner, along with a one-year professional membership to AJF, and a coveted Schmuck exhibition spot for each of the five finalists. This year’s five finalists were selected from 123 entries representing 27 countries, chosen for their originality and potential contribution to the diverse and rapidly evolving field of wearable art. The 2014 competition was open to makers of wearable art jewelry who are less than 35 years of age and not currently enrolled in a professional training program.
Art Jewelry Forum is a nonprofit organization spreading awareness and increasing appreciation of art jewelry worldwide since 1997. AJF advocates for art jewelry through an ambitious agenda of education, conversation, and financial support. It commissions critical writing that sets the standard for excellence in the field and publishes artjewelryforum.org, an online resource for original content on art jewelry.
CONTACT: Rebekah Frank