Winterson Prize 2019: Meet the Designers

Each year we work with the student jewellery designers at Central Saint Martins in London, giving them an opportunity to experience designing with pearls for their final year collections.

We will be awarding the Winterson Prize 2019 to one of the students for ‘The Best Use of Pearls’ at the CSM Jewellery Awards Evening on 20th June. The BA Jewellery graduate collections are exhibited at CSM and open to the public from June 19th - 22nd.

Here we feature the first part in a series of short interviews with designers from the CSM Jewellery 2019 show, including in this article - Ayse Daga, Diana Jung, Fermin Cheung, Hao-Yang Lai, Juntao Asa Ouyang and Wen-Ju Tseng.

Read about Juntao Asa Ouyang, the winner of this year's prize.

 

Ayse Daga

Ayse Daga

Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I have been passionate about creating since I was very young. Starting off with drawing and painting, I realised that I am interested in creating three dimensional forms that can either be personal or that communicates ideas in a broader sense. My main inspiration is history and admiration of different cultures around the world. Based in Istanbul, Turkey, I believe my interest for different cultures and history come from the rich historical past, traditions and crafts of my home country.

What was the inspiration for your Faces from Curiosities collection?
From broad to narrower sense, it was, history, culture, memories and human conscious. Cabinet of curiosities and Sigmund Freud’s collection of objects were two main inspirations for me to build up a starting point for my collection.

What do you find inspiring about pearls?
Definitely their roots and history. They are considered as the worlds’ oldest gems and were used for different purposes in different cultures. I am also very interested in their nature. Unlike gemstones that are mined from the earth, a living organism produces a pearl.

What have you discovered about working with pearls?
They are easier to carve compared to other stones. I also realized the interesting nature of the Baroque pearls. Their natural and irregular shapes are very inspirational.

Which designer or artist do you most admire?
Shinji Nakaba and Sevan Bıçakçı (he doesn’t use pearls a lot).

Who could you imagine wearing your jewellery?
To be honest anyone could wear my jewellery who appreciates the idea of history and culture. I always admire ancient tribal jewellery and consider myself as a maker and designer who reinterpret the idea of authenticity.

What’s next for you after CSM?
I’m planning to develop myself in terms of carving and engraving and hopefully expand my work to create my own business.

View more of Ayse's work here.

 

Diana Jung

Diana Jung

Tell us a little bit about yourself.
My jewellery designs result in numerous attempts of embodying my delicate sensations into objects. I like designing sculptural pieces that are beautiful when they are both worn and not worn, which holds the features of both art jewellery and fine jewellery.

What was the inspiration for your Sense of Belonging collection?
Exploring the scenes of laundry, the subtle image of soft pillows hanging on the laundry lines left a strong impression on me. Pillows itself are such a symbolic object of home and a personal possession that remains nearest to the skin. Having something that exists in one’s private space and moments set out to the public, came upon as an unusual but also beautiful sight for me. Therefore, I decided to create a collection of puffy pillows which contains the nostalgia of one’s comfort place to be worn on the body for people to see.

What do you find inspiring about pearls?
I love the white soft texture of pearls. I find pearls fascinating in that they have such a calming, comforting look to them. I also think that pearls are special because they become heirlooms that can be cherished for a long time.

What have you discovered about working with pearls?
I found that pearls could be carved and transformed into various shapes. However, I eventually came to realize that pearls are the most beautiful when it is in its pure state.

Which designer or artist do you most admire?
Sculptor and installation artist Do Ho Suh, Rachael Whiteread, and fashion designer Pheobe Philo.

Who could you imagine wearing your jewellery?
I imagine my jewellery being worn by anyone who can relate to my pieces and understands the sensitivity of them.

What’s next for you after CSM?
I really enjoy designing and making jewellery and would love to start working in other companies. Eventually, I would like to have my own brand.

View more of Diana's work here.

 

Fermin Cheung

Fermin Cheung

Tell us a little bit about yourself.
Someone who likes drawing, painting and crafting but doesn’t understand contemporary arts.

What was the inspiration for your Vitana collection?
Shinji Nakaba who is a Japanese artist specialise in pearl carving; anatomy studies that I’ve been revising in my spare time and my essay which did some research on display methods in galleries.

What do you find inspiring about pearls?
The softness of the material is inspiring. Not just in its strength but also the visual that looks like layers of airbrush stacked on top of each other, creating a vibrant colour. The resin-like interior is also intriguing.

What have you discovered about working with pearls?
The properties of having layers in pearls which cause problems during carving; possibility of sculpting as the material is capable to provide contrast between hard edges and soft edges.

Which designer or artist do you most admire?
Shinji Nakaba; Neil Linnsen, Jiro Jur, Wlop and Shal_E.

Who could you imagine wearing your jewellery?
Audience that not only appreciate the visuals of a piece, but also appreciate the intentions or messages behind.

What’s next for you after CSM?
Utilising the degree and work for income, whether it is contemporary or commercial jewellery or any other aspects, supporting the study in illustration and concept art, potentially animation if time allows.

 

Hao Yang Lai

Hao-Yang Lai

Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I’ve always been interested in designing and making since I was young. As I begin my further studies at Central Saint Martins, I was very lucky to be in a position to truly explore myself. To me, jewellery is about challenging conventions and breaking boundaries. In the future, I intend to continue pushing my designs further and bring awareness to the social issues that I care deeply.

What was the inspiration for your Anthropocene collection?
The starting point of this collection was inspired by science fiction and the cyberpunk movement. As I developed my concept, I begin to realise how science fiction reflects our society and how it can inform my work. With science fiction movies like Blade Runner 2049 (2017), I was heavily inspired by imageries of the postmodern, apocalyptic world. My collection found itself inheriting many characteristics such as the cybernetic forms and clean design aesthetics from the film.

What do you find inspiring about pearls?
I think what’s most interesting about pearl is that they are natural forms. With my collection, I investigated with the relationship between man-made verses nature. The contrast between pearls and the artificial stone gives a new dimension to my collection.

What have you discovered about working with pearls?
I’ve discovered pearls have interesting qualities, such as the different reflections and colours, it's soft on the outside and hard in its core.

Which designer or artist do you most admire?
Anish Kapoor, Stanley Kubrick, Richard Serra

Who could you imagine wearing your jewellery?
Artists, collectors, designers.

What’s next for you after CSM?
I’m probably moving to Africa or South America to do volunteer work.

View more of Hao-Yang's work here.

 

Juntao Asa Ouyang 2019

Juntao Asa Ouyang

Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I am a passionate designer who works with traditional craft skill and wants to interpret craft skills, craftsmanship in contemporary jewellery.

What was the inspiration for your Glitch collection?
My inspiration comes from the circumstances of people over-reliance on technology products. What would happen if all the technology that people depend on just shuts down? I aim to demonstrate the fear of how daily used technology may ‘Incorporate’ people if people rely too much on technology.

What do you find inspiring about pearls?
The uniqueness and colors of pearls is pretty inspiring.

What have you discovered about working with pearls?
I used mother of pearl and pearls in my collection. Colors of abalone shell can represent glitch screens in an abstract way. Natural baroque pearls come with different sizes and shapes. Seeking the right pearls for my collection is an interesting journey.

Which designer or artist do you most admire?
Theo Jansen and Gijs Bakker.

Who could you imagine wearing your jewellery?
People who like to warn themselves from over-reliance on technology products.

What’s next for you after CSM?
I would like to find a job in which I can learn while working.

View more of Juntao's work here.

 

Wen-Ju Tseng

Wen-Ju Tseng

Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I am an enthusiastic and bubbly person who tends to overcomplicate things but always finds a way to simplify them again.

What was the inspiration for your How Valuable Are You collection?
Social expectations have forced us to constantly evaluate and assess individuals. The collecting and processing of basic personal information provides a system for measuring one’s value that is quietly going out of control. My final collection subverts the uses of everyday objects to challenge how societal expectations are creating a worrying trend to commodify everything we do into unrealistic values.

What do you find inspiring about pearls?
Pearls have a unique lustre that makes them stand out in the crowd of jewels.

What have you discovered about working with pearls?
They come in all different sizes, colours and shapes and I really do mean it. I would like to thank all the living shell mollusks that created the mini pearls I used in my collection.

Which designer or artist do you most admire?
I don’t have one favourite designer but I do have quite a few designers and artists who inspire me such as Ken Price, Ai Wei Wei, Shaun Leane, Gijs Bakker and Margiela.

Who could you imagine wearing your jewellery?
You.

What’s next for you after CSM?
Expand my collection by developing showpieces into everyday wearable pieces and look into other aspects of social expectations!

View more of Wen-Ju's work here.