Eunmi Chun

The artist has been making brooches of stainless steel and silver for her latest series ” Mirror of envy” using a cool, slick aesthetic for their design. Chun explores the psychosocial function of jewellery in this series of works. As a bearer of symbolic meaning, jewellery points to the social standing of an individual and contributes to that person’s identity formation. In Mirror of envy the artist addresses the discrepancy between self-perception and perception and raises questions about the constructedness of individual self-concepts. The contradictory needs on which fashion is based also apply to jewellery: the aim is, on the one hand, to be recognised and appreciated by a social group and, on the other, to set oneself apart from it through individuality. The size of the brooches is modelled on the generous dimensions of striking statement pieces which people wear tounderscore a glamourous and self-confident appearance. Typically, however, the aesthetic self-perception eludes visual perception while wearing jewellery: »The brain associates ornamentation on the head, neck, torso and back with the corporeal self as markings of the body’s outer boundary; in this sense, the ornamentation is construed as part of the self and not experienced with the senses. In a mirror, man or woman first see themselves as an other, before inferring that they are the person in question«.iv Chun takes up this idea by conceiving the mirror brooches in such a way that the curved surfaces distort the image of the person who looks at him or herself in the mirror. The fractal mirror image instead reflects the ambivalence between subjective and objective perception, between desire and reality.                    By Lotte Dinse

Stellvertretende Leiterin, Künstlerhaus Schloss Balmoral

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