Schmuck shared the back of the convention centre with Talente, which was abuzz with freshness, excitement and new approaches to making. Talente clearly succeeded in presenting the youthful exuberance of the best in their fields under the age of 30. The overall highlight of Talente for me was the work of two South Korean jewelers, Semi Kim and Ji Hye Lee. There is just something about the immaculate technique and interesting subject matter in the work of the current generation of Korean jewelers that gets me every time. Frame was also placed in the back corner of the hall and showcased three of the more influential galleries in European jewelry: Galerie Marzee (Netherlands), Galerie Platina (Sweden) and Galerie Ra (Netherlands).
I would say that out of all the exhibitions that I managed to visit, three stood out as having a really nice balance of exhibition display and quality of work. Mine x Mine at WITTENBRINKFuenfhoefe presented great work that was supported beautifully by its slightly unconventional display. Mikiko Minewaki’s work was displayed in what looked like a sandbox (minus the sand) on the floor so that you had squat to look closely at the work. Given Minewaki’s favoured materials (plastic toys) this was an appropriate and thoughtful choice of presentation that enhanced rather than detracted from the work. Yutaka Minegishi, whose work I was not as familiar with, had pieces arranged in a line along a tall, fine, open structured frame, mirroring the rectangular box on the floor and placing it against the wall. This seemed to again reflect the nature of the work and allowed the viewer to quietly contemplate the materials and techniques used to create such simple seductive forms eye level.
I spent three days straight looking, thinking and dreaming jewelry but the strange and interesting fact of the matter is even though I had traveled all that way, I didn’t even once notice that I hadn’t so much as fondled a single piece of jewelry during the whole time. Hopefully 2011 will see me make it back to Munich, and next time I will make sure that I am armed with more than just a hangover.