Ruhong Chen

“I explored the concept of impermanence from Buddhism, as Buddhist philosophy proposes that individuals are merely collections of strands of experience. Everything in the world is constantly changing, so they all have the essence of impermanence. It goes on to posit that suffering can be overcome when people become mindful of the impermanence of reality.”

“The processes of manipulating materials in my hand and explore its possibilities, are almost a meditative experience for me during the time of creation.”

Ruhong Chen

Jewellery Design

2017-2019 MFA Jewellery & Silversmithing

Edinburgh College Of Art

2014-2017 BA Hons Jewellery Design

University of the Arts London, Central Saint Martin’s

Statement

Throughout my creative journey in these years, I am often intrigued by meditating on memories and ongoing sensory experiences, in which I found the ephemerality of things is important to me. Through contemplating the concept as a practice, I learned to be brave and strong, to overcome or embrace all the phenomena in my life stages. The elements of ephemerality have often been my sources of inspiration, and I have been constantly working on the concept. Therefore, my graduation collection is a meeting point where this ideology is condensed. In terms of my graduation collection The Only Permanence is Impermanance (2019), I explored the concept of impermanence from Buddhism, as Buddhist philosophy proposes that individuals are merely collections of strands of experience. Everything in the world is constantly changing, so they all have the essence of impermanence. It goes on to posit that suffering can be overcome when people become mindful of the impermanence of reality.

“Inspired by the philosophy of impermanence, I explored the idea of building in fragility through the use of transient materials such as talc, soil, and charcoal in this series of works. The jewellery pieces have a lifespan and go through transformative processes, both physically and conceptually, when interacting with the wearer. Hidden preciousness is eventually revealed through the act of wearing and wearing out the jewellery pieces, in which the jewellery becomes a form of ritual. The pearls and gold revealed in the jewellery symbolise the state of serenity achieved through the acceptance of our own impermanent state. Additionally, I left the meaning of unrevealed jewels for open dialogue; the wearer can draw their own symbolic values and meanings from experiencing this transitory jewellery collection.

In my general practice of jewellery, I perceive jewellery as a window for consolidating and articulating our inner landscape to the external world, whether it is a landscape of emotions, memories, meditative way of thinking or just to have fun, pushing the boundaries of jewellery. The processes of manipulating materials in my hand and explore its possibilities, are almost a meditative experience for me during the time of creation. In my creation, I also value how the way of expression may build up a sensory relationship with people. Before I came to the field of Jewellery, one of the courses I studied in my high school was product design, which laid the foundation for me considering the relationship between my creations and people. The switch from product design happened when I found the inclusiveness of jewellery has given me more freedom of creation. It has a unique strength letting narratives develop, flow between its space, itself, and the wearer. It also allows all kinds of conflict to collide, challenging the conventions we’ve had so far.”


Materials and Techniques

“Reviewing my works from the past, I have worked interdisciplinary on various materials. I am now becoming increasingly keen on using natural materials by testing out innovative making methods. The process of transforming the insignificance of nature into jewellery fascinates me. Also, my pleasure in designing and making comes from the involvement of the wearer and the piece of jewellery generating a personal dialogue. I believe the wearer/viewer’s experience is important as it enriches the context of jewellery, in a way it reaches beyond the time, the space, and the absence/presence of jewellery’s physical existence.

At the moment I am experimenting with a 100% plant-based plastic to make jewellery. This project has just begun and I will share its development or the final piece with you in the near future. 


Awards, Exhibitions and News

“Since graduating, my works have been exhibited in several galleries including Kath Libbert Jewelry Gallery and Galerie Marzee. My works have also been featured in Wallpaper* Magazine. I was invited to join Klimt 02 and establish a membership. Some of my works are currently on display at Intro in Amsterdam.

During this year I worked in a company and recently I set up my own studio working as an independent artist based in Shanghai.”

Lockdown

“During the lockdown, people are restricted in their zones and asked to keep the social distance, material entertainment are paused from our daily life. Some people are starting to feel restless, or empty during this period. However, I also saw people’s friendships, family relationships begin to have some interesting interactions. Perhaps this is a starting point where it enables us to contemplate what is truly meaningful and important to us, what we can do for those who are important in our lives and treasure each moment, as life is short and fragile and what we can control isn’t the past nor the far future. I also reflect on the concept of our existence in society; certainly, we choose the way to live our own lives, however, mankind is within a community of a shared future in certain circumstances. Furthermore, I think it is also important to rethink the balance/relationship between humans and nature during this pandemic.”