Dongyi Wu’s works span across jewelry, body jewelry, fashion art, sculpture and conceptual installation. Trying to push the boundaries of jewelry, Dongyi creates the works with her unique and expressive language while making them wearable and well crafted. Collecting ideas from literature books, her own experiences, and researches of psychology, Dongyi lets free imagination and the inspiration guide her in designing the object to wear. She likens herself as a storyteller, who narrates stories that seem to be trivial and common but actually express strong and genuine emotions. Moreover, Dongyi fascinates playing with a wide range of materials and giving them special texture, distinct tactile, and new meaning in the process of wearable artworks creation.
For the series of art jewelry works “Passerby” and “Keyrings”, Dongyi Wu focuses on impression on streets, and transfers these quick images into jewelry pieces that can be worn. “Passerby” aims to capture the moments Dongyi observes people who walk next to her on streets, or people that are pictured in the photos inside fashion magazines. The inspiration for “Passerby5” comes from a young man who wore a mosaic suit, huge sneakers, and a cap with blue color on the street. He looked a little shy but wearing a high fashion style. Dongyi wants to express the contradiction between his personality and self-expression through wearable works. Blue is a color that can seem conservative and traditional, which usually associates with peaceful, relaxing, and orderly, but it was applied to the pieces with an energetic and fashionable style, which reproduced the personal style of the young man.
“Keyring” Collection as the extension series of “Passerby” shifts the focal point from people to everyday carrying objects — Keyrings. Dongyi believes the details and styles of the keyrings can narrate the stories of their owners. Through deconstructing the inspiration from the keyrings, Dongyi reshapes them into narrative jewelry pieces that are wearable, lightweight, and unique.
Dongyi Wu was born and raised in China. She is a contemporary jewelry artist, who is currently working and living in San Antonio, USA. Dongyi received her Master’s Degree from Rochester Institute of Technology, and her Bachelor’s Degree from the Beijing Institute of Fashion Technology in China. Dongyi has her works shown nationally and internationally, such as JOYA 2020 in Barcelona and Schmuck 2018 in Munich. Dongyi was recently selected to be one of the winners of Preziosa Young 2020 in Florence, Italy; and one of the finalists of the Lydon Emerging Artist Program (LEAP award) 2019 at the Contemporary Craft in the United States and finalists of the ENJOIA’T 2017 in Spain. Her works have been featured in many publications, and the last publication that showed her work is the book Chinese Contemporary Jewelry Design.
A HANDFUL OF PRAYERS
The exposition observes the similarities in the motoric of eating dried sunflower seeds and fingering prayer beads. Throughout thousands of years mankind has been forming and using physical movements to help us channel our spirit. The fingering of prayer beads while praying or chanting is a common practice in many different religions.
Prayer beads are fingered in synchronization with repeating prayers or mantras. A similar motif can be found in street culture, in the process of consuming sunflower seeds. The seeds pass through fingers as prayers beads do. Biting and peeling form a repeating movement. Chewing takes the place of saying prayers.
NB! The exhibition is based on the artist’s imagination. A-Gallery supports and follows the recommendations and requirements of Estonian Government and the Health Board.
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Hans-Otto Ojaste graduated from the Department of Jewellery and Blacksmithing at the Estonian Academy of Arts (BA 2012) and belongs to the artist duo Urmas-Ott. He has exhibited in group exhibitions both in Estonia and abroad.