Yu-Fang Chi is a Taiwanese jeweller who studied metalsmithing at the Tainan National University of The Arts. She has been represented in a number of international exhibitions, including Schmuck and Talente, Korea and Japan. She is currently a lecturer in the Department of Art and Design, National Hsinchu University of Education.
Her series ‘Laced with Lace’ involves delicate silverwork that forms organic like patterns that drape over parts of the body. Chi’s work explores the space between the body and jewellery by creating work that does not obviously attach to the body as a foreign object. Her work follows the natural contours of the body as though it patterns the skin itself.
Chi’s work reflects an experimentation with form and content, applying a technique associated with needlework to metalsmithing. The result has the kind of easeful grace that we might associated with the floral garland. But its ephemerality is also a challenge. Like the traditional garland, does the fragility of this lace work limit its durability?
Chi reflects on the work in her own words:
In contrast to classical lace, objects in the “Laced with Lace” series do not have dyed or inlaid borders surrounding a central body of work. Rather these pieces are a natural extension of closeness, radiating outwards from spaces and holes at the corners and seams, following the joints and hugging the body. Through this light and fine “layer” the physical form is part of an intriguing mixture – actively “wearing” and passively being “embraced.” Without a central motif, the objects are partial forms that can be used to reflect on the past, similar to the interrelationship of the skin and the organs, alluding to the certain area of the body. – Shoulders? Wrists? Chest? Posterior? The light, mobile nature of the lace skin evolves from being merely a display, into something that is glimmering and alluring. Viewers focus on and are soon lost in the complex and difficult to understand lattice work, with no single thing on which to focus or reflect. The soaring, extending pattern causes one’s line of vision to move rapidly. Within this flattened visual experience, patterns, totems and messages are removed for a more visually stunning effect without feeling or name.
Yu-Fang Chi is one of the participating artists in the Welcome Signs exhibition