Can Fine Jewellery be considered as Contemporary Art?
From the time of the ancient Greeks, jewellery and artistic creation shared a long history. However, when the Renaissance started in the 16th century, jewellery and art began to develop separately. Painters and sculptors were classified as artists; whereas those who created crafts with metal were classified as craftsmen (lower class). Because of this difference in social class between artist and craftsman, many artists stopped creating with metal, in favour of traditional painting and sculpture.
Five centuries later, Picasso and Koons both made jewellery a part of their artistic creation. Yet today the contemporary art world seems surprisingly commercial. Is it right that artwork can only be hung on a wall? Surely jewellery designed and crafted to be worn by a woman can be considered as contemporary art?
Dickson Yewn is the founder and creative director of YEWN. Positioned as a luxury “contemporary Chinese fine jewellery” brand in most people’s eyes, YEWN is in fact a cultural and educational brand aiming to fill the 100-year lost era in Chinese jewellery. Since childhood, Dickson Yewn has felt an especially strong affinity with Chinese arts and culture. Since 1995, capitalizing on his fine arts training, Yewn has created many extraordinary jewellery pieces for his elite clients, drawing inspiration from Chinese arts and culture and transforming a centuries-old tradition into modern, wearable, contemporary Chinese art.
Yewn studied at Sorbonne in Paris before gaining a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Ottawa, Canada and studying jewellery design and photography in New York. His conceptual jewellery store “Life of Circle” was selected by Forbes Magazine in 2005 as one of the top 25 stores in the world, winning the category for jewellery store among other brand names including Hermès and Ralph Lauren. In 2011, YEWN became the first Chinese luxury jewellery brand chosen by American First Lady, Michelle Obama, who wore YEWN’s iconic Chinese lattice jadeite ring.
Dickson Yewn’s creations have been featured in numerous solo and group exhibitions worldwide.