Yu Fang Chi
7th November – 24th November 2018
‘Entwined‘ draws from the artist’s memories of her childhood and the nature of intimate feminine relationships. Inspired by traditional embroidery techniques, Yu Fang Chi applied delicate silver wires to trace the ambiguous, unstable and shifting experiences in the female body.
Repetitive movements such as stitching, weaving and crocheting connect the artist to her cultural and familial lineage, while simultaneously heightening her awareness on the making process and the haptic sensibility of the materials.
About Yu Fang Chi
Yu-Fang, Chi is a Taiwan-born jewellery artist. In 2014, she moved to Melbourne where she studied PhD degree at RMIT University, School of Art, Gold & Silversmithing. Her research project investigates the concept of femininity in jewellery and objects and its cultural connotations. Yu-Fang introspects the processes of making and the position of female body. Her practice involves repetitive fibre-related techniques which can be connected to traditional domestic art processes.
Yu-Fang works across different facets of jewellery practice and collaborates with diverse artistic fields. Her recent curatorial project assembles jewellery narratives with the potential to bring subjective encounters into wider social assignations.
Her artwork has been exhibited in international institutions and platforms, such as Talente 2008 and Schmuck 2009 in Germany, Cheongju International Craft Competition in Korea, and exhibitions in Japan, China, Poland, India, and Estonia.
Essay by Elizabeth M. Grierson, extract from Bodies and Jewellery in Tacit Recollection
‘How does the body, not merely the mind, remember the feel of a latch in a long-forsaken childhood home?’ (John Stilgoe).[i]
In the phenomenological world of objects, Gaston Bachelard suggests the body imprints memory through apprehension rather than a cognitive comprehension. There the poetic trace may lie. In his Poetics of Space, Bachelard speaks of ‘household activities’ as creative acts: ‘The minute we apply a glimmer of consciousness to a mechanical gesture, or practice phenomenology while polishing a piece of old furniture, we sense new impressions come into being beneath this familiar domestic duty’.[ii]
In the work of Yu Fang Chi the fragility of the female body and its cultural histories extend to processes used by women in the domestic realm. Bachelard’s phenomenological approach to household activities and the way they become embodied with new impressions, reverberate in her work. The visceral forms entwine with a marked sensuality, coiling like bodily organs, yet they carry the imprints from discarded materials of kitchen duties. Here, with the capacity for sensuous adornment, ambiguity carries an expressive form.
[i] John R. Stilgoe, Foreword. In Gaston Bachelard, The Poetics of Space, Beacon Press, Boston Massachusetts, 1994, pp. vii-viii. First published in French 1958.
[ii] Gaston Bachelard, The Poetics of Space, p. 67.
Elizabeth M. Grierson is Professor of Art and Philosophy affiliated with RMIT University Melbourne, Australia, and Head of School of Art at RMIT, 2005-12. She holds a PhD in Education (Auckland), MA 1st Cl. Hons. in Art History (Auckland), JD Distinction (RMIT), BA in English, and Graduate Diplomas in Law, Teaching, and Speech and Drama. She is author and editor of 12 books and many journal articles, catalogue essays, and conference papers. She is an Australian Lawyer and practises as a Barrister in New Zealand under Gresson, her married name. Websites: www.elizabethgrierson.com www.gressonlaw.com