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Ivar Kaasik / Jacqueline Yajing Yao / Kai Kiudsoo-Värv / Yao Tan

Ivar Kaasik

Death is the natural end of all living things. For humans, however, it has special meaning because we are aware of it. For materialists, it is the end of being, but nonetheless this matter can give new life and witness the birth of something new. To idealists, death signifies the transition to the afterlife, in the form of a soul or in the form of rebirth. This is seen as liberation. The soul is liberated from the body. As life ends in death, life loses its purpose. What is the meaning of this exhibition? The artist used recyclable materials to create this jewellery, thus giving new life and meaning to existing matter. Some of the materials regenerate themselves naturally in the wild by recreating themselves over and over again. Until humans draw a line and end its life. Only to begin again and again.

Ivar Kaasik is an Estonian artist who moved to Berlin after graduating from the Burg Giebichenstein University of Art and Design in Halle and the Estonian Academy of Arts. In 1996 he received the DeBeers Oscar at Paris Haute Couture Week. As a freelance artist, he organises tours for art lovers on Berlin’s battlefield of street art and appropriatist art, gives mobile insights into the city’s centuries-old monumental art and industrial architecture and guides cultural tourists through the maze of avant-garde galleries to the lower east side quarter of Neukölln, which is full of alternative music clubs.

Ivar Kaasik was born in Kuressaare in 1965. He studied at the Estonian Academy of Art (formerly the Estonian State Art Institute) in the Department of Architecture and later in the Department of Metal Art from 1983-1992 and at the Burg Giebichenstein University of Art and Design in Halle from 1989-1990. Since then he has held various professions, including working as a goldsmith in Germany from 1992-1998. Kaasik has been a freelance artist since 1999. He has participated in exhibitions since 1989 and has been a member of the Association of German Artists since 2001 and of the Estonian Artists’ Association since 2012. He is also a member of the Estonian Metal Artists’ Union and Estonian Painters’ Union.

Kaasik has been awarded the world-famous Diamond International Award (1996) in Paris for jewellery design. As a writer, Kaasik has expressed his disregard for pathos and traditional approaches towards art in his book Beware of the Art! What To Do, How and How Much (Ettevaatust, kunst! Mida teha. Kuidas ja kui palju, 2011) whose genre Kaasik describes as a “minimum and maximum programme”. – From the book Ivar Kaasik. Beware of the Art! What To Do, How and How Much. (2011)

Jacqueline Yajing Yao

Everyone has their own world – a space where they become themselves. It is both spiritual and precious. While some may open their world to share themselves, others are more protective. My works take inspiration from this space of separation. A place where relaxation and breath can lead to a deeper connection with self.

Space is a conceptual word. It’s an open concept that is interpreted in a variety of meanings. Here, I also would like to leave this wide space to everyone; to experience the relaxation, the breath… anything that can be connected and imagined.

Jacqueline Yajing Yao is an M.F.A. at Savannah College Of Art And Design. Her goal is to create long-lasting jewelry and accessories that aren’t just roughly beautiful but also have a soul passed on from generation to generation. Drawing inspiration from music subculture, philosophy, and art, Yao continuously seeks the perfect balance between meaning, beauty, and function while cherishing the heritage of making things by hand in the best possible way. Jewelry expresses a possibility that few observers have ever noticed: Its ability to touch people. She uses a simple way to express complex thoughts, and she believes handmade can build a special relationship with jeweler and wearer.

Kai Kiudsoo-Värv

The purple glow of a willowherb on the edge of a venom-green meadow, a mustard-yellow horizon above a turquoise sea, a pea-green minibus driving past a bright yellow house, snow-white and scarlet dishes on an indigo table… Which moments of life do you recall? The colours, smells and flavours that embody the emotions you have experienced. 

I scroll through the pictures on my phone, searching for the right shot among the familiar assortment of colours. The colour schemes of my recollections.

Some of these schemes were transformed into jewellery with the help of goldsmith Indrek Ikkonen, while others were made by the author herself.

Kai Kiudsoo-Värv (born 1968) is a glass artist. She graduated from the Department of Glass Art at the Estonian Academy of Art with a BA in 1995 and an MA in 2005. Since 1995 she has worked as a freelance artist on a variety of projects, from product design to exhibition projects. Her works include light objects, sculptures, church windows and more. She has taught glass art the Estonian Academy of Art and the Olustvere School of Service and Rural Economics.

Her day-to-day work finds her at the Klaasiklubi glass club in Tallinn, which she founded in 2009 and where she organises and conducts a range of fusing technique courses.

Kai Kiudsoo-Värv has also participated in many exhibitions in Estonia and abroad. Her works can be found in a number of private collections and museums.

Yao Tan

The collection called: “XY” speaks about the subtle ambiguity between females and male. “Infra-mince” of which Marcel Duchamp spoke counted which is barely perceptible, barely identifiable, this notion represents a tiny and singularizing difference.

Her work is built on the ambiguous perception of the body and its imagination. The inspiration came from bodily sources, such as vulnerability, mutations, dualities, and formal metamorphosis. Her jewels are like chimeras, tactile and sensitive objects, and always questioning the relationship to our carnal desires. In this series, she looks for ways to interpret issues related to eroticism in a sensitive and poetic, but also ironic and sometimes violent way. 

Yao Tan is an artist and jewellery maker from China. She received her bachelor’s degree in furniture design in 2012, and later a BFA in contemporary art in 2019 and MA in contemporary art in France. 

She is interested in the tension and the strangeness that results from the relationship between an exhibition space and modest sizes objects. Her creations around the perception and imagination of the body to reconstitute paths of sensations in our societies in <crisis of sensitivity> is a kind of resistance to absurd grand narratives.