They are provoked and inspired by both the natural and the artificial: Through their curiosity and artistry Yong Joo Kim and Yoshie Enda breath new life into everyday, and industrial materials. The Gallery at Reinstein|Ross in New York is currently displaying their works in the show Naturaficial : The Jewelry of Yong Joo Kim and Yoshie Enda. The exhibition will remain on view through April 17th. Kim has chosen to work with Velcro® hook and loop fasteners, an industrial material, to create her sculptural jewelry. Yoshie Enda mixes dried flowers and herbs with resin to make her wearable botanical monuments.
Sparked by her move from busy Seoul, where Kim was born, to smaller Providence in Rhode Island, she found herself slowing down and taking the time to appreciate the mundane and the common place. Turning her focus away from precious materials “that were beautiful to begin with” Kim began experimenting with the “ordinary and non-precious”. Velcro® is an artificial fastener material that was designed by the Swiss engineer Georges de Mestral after examining the burdock burrs that continually stuck to his dog’s coat while hiking in the Alps. Kim examined the material’s potential through cutting, rolling, bending, and sewing the fasteners, “discovering the hidden beauty through a process of reconfiguration”. Kim’s mission is to impact society through her art by challenging our notions of beauty. Kim’s work also explores “how wearable art can provoke meaningful questions and dialogues around trust, beauty, value, and empathy”. In essence, we are all subjects in this experiment when we choose to adorn ourselves with her creations.
Nature, and the creative use of materials is also at the root of Yoshie Enda’s work. “Flowers bloom gloriously for a brief moment and eventually wither. This is how nature works, but I feel pity for the transient beauty of flowers”, admits Enda. Attempting to prolong the life of the flower, she “performs a memorial” whereby she grinds dried flowers and herbs and mixes it with resin. During the process, Enda adds natural dye colors for a light to dark gradient effect that has become a hallmark of her work. Through the Reflora body of work, Enda, whose jewelry appeared in the music video for Lady Gaga’s Born This way (2011), has extensively researched flowers, settling on 6 types of plants that keep their natural color when mixed with resin. “I wish for my jewelry to travel through time and place and bloom once more.” Enda’s romantic ideas and delicate materials are in stark contrast to the geometric forms of her brooches and necklaces. With Reflora the artist who has been born in Saitama, Japan, where she currently resides, offers us a 21st century take on memento mori – the mortality of all living things.
The Gallery at Reinstein|Ross was founded in New York City’s fashionable Meatpacking District as a venue to exhibit progressive work in studio art jewelry, as well as fine arts related to jewelry, precious stones and precious metals. Founded in 1985, Reinstein|Ross is committed to high-karat gold, gemstones, and classical goldsmithing techniques.
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