银色精灵与危险之物 | Angel Zhang 「艺术访谈」
欢迎来到木牙Make Unique Young Arts，来观察和了解人体的脆弱和大自然的柔美～
At the bottom of the cycle exists such a material, it has no so-called value, is the abandoned object, lost the possibility of being used, can not be used again, is no longer needed. -- Rubbish
Such a definition is a highly subjective judgment given by us as waste producers. The talk about environmental protection is full of our life, and the whole Internet is attacking the behavior of excessive waste. And yet we can't stop our hands from producing them. With the constant stimulation of consumerism has come the expansion of the area of waste disposal plants. What is slowing down the rate at which we produce rubbish? Is a declaration of environmental protection, a promotion and production of recyclable biodegradable plastic companies, is waste classification, etc. It is negative that the biggest slowdown has been the epidemic. The ecological recovery after the epidemic, the return of animals to the nest, all suggest that everything is different.
Behind every work of art is the expectation of the maker. We invited Angel Zhang to MUYA to showcase her appreciation of nature, her concern for wildlife and the impact of physical health, and her works that attempt to express the fragility of the human body and the softness of nature in the language of jewelry.
Angel Zhang 是一位出生于 Windhoek,Namibia的珠宝设计师。作为中国父母的第一代 Windhoek公民。安琪尔会说四种语言(英语、普通话、德语和南非荷兰语)，她的多元文化背景让她培养了一种全球思维。让她通过不同的视角看世界，并通过她的作品参与到关于自然的脆弱性和人类造成的环境精神影响的全球对话中。
Angel Zhang is a jewelry designer who was born and raised in Windhoek, Namibia. As a first-generation Namibian citizen to Chinese parents. Speaking four languages (English, Mandarin, German, Afrikaans), Angel’s multicultural background has allowed her to cultivate a global mindset. Allowing her to see the world through a different lens and enabling her to engage in global conversations about the fragility of nature and environmental mental impacts caused by the Anthropocene through her work.
Angel graduated with a BFA from Pratt Institute in theNew York City to further incorporate cross-cultural perspectives in her life. After being exposed to Namibia’s rich natural environment for the majority of her upbringing, she now lives in a metropolis, where she developed a new appreciation for nature. These ideas are translated in her final thesis, which focuses on consumption and its effects on wildlife and physical health.
This collection, Amanita, takes a closer look into the internal organs of human beings. Unable to see our insides, we imagine through the pieces and theoretically dissect and rip ourselves open, exposing the toxic consumerist products disposed of in nature that ruptures out of our bodies. Because many chemicals and pollutants, like plastics, cannot decompose, animals and wildlife are often affected. However, is it possible to find poisonous substances we created in our own bodies’ systems by consuming the affected nature?
My biomorphic pieces gather their inspiration from organisms found in nature; pod-like structures, and petals observed in flora. They represent the dispersion and spread of toxins. Pods are chased with fine silver or die-formed, while the petal wire structures are dipped into UV resin to create transparent petal elements that are placed inside the silver pods with tap and die. Within the bright silver, hints of colors appear inside the clear resin. As light shines through the pieces, the elements illuminate and come to life. In this way, I attempt to represent the fragility of the human body and the delicacy of nature.
➤ 木牙MUYA:作品中塑料的部分Angel使⽤的是回收塑料吗？除了使⽤塑料类化学材料Angel是否有在构想使 ⽤ 其他的特殊化学物质同样破坏着环境应⽤在新的⼀组作品中？
Do the plastic part of the work use recycled plastic? In addition to the use of plastic chemical materials, is Angel thinking that use of other special chemical substances will also destroy the environment and be applied in a new set of works?
With my pieces, such as Filtrate, I had used recycled food containers from home as well as a fishing line found washed up on the beach. I had designed and had long thought processes of what I can do to relay my message of waste we produce without creating more waste. Even Though it is not much of an impact when using such a small amount. However, It is tricky to enforce sustainable practices without causing some kind of waste. In future collections, I definitely would further expand my knowledge and push the ideas of working with more sustainable materials. It would be ideal to collaborate with scientists in these fields and understand chemicals that would be safer to use for the environment and our health.
➤ 木牙MUYA:作品讲述的是化学物质对于环境的影响，在⽣活中Angel是否也是环境保护倡导者身体⼒⾏传达 ⾃⼰的概念？类似在⽣活中减少使⽤塑料袋等？
The work is about the impact of chemical substances on the environment. Is Angel also an advocate of environmental protection in life to convey your own concept? Similar to reducing the use of plastic bags in life?
With the topic of sustainability, living in Namibia, we were always taught to save water, use solar power and recycle. Throughout the years after moving to the US, I have continued to recycle (垃圾分类) and support sustainable electricity companies. As a lifestyle, I not only refrain from using as few straws and plastic containers as I can, I am also still learning about what kinds of chemicals affect nature—for example, having to purchase skincare products, such as sunscreen, that are reef safe. Also, making sure that my products are natural and free of microbeads, like polyethylene (PE). Shopping for groceries, we often use reusable grocery bags and avoid purchasing plastic shopping bags when we can.
➤ 木牙MUYA:是什么原因让Angel选择了珠宝设计专业作为⾃⼰的本科专业？可以详细的讲讲吗？如果要读研 究⽣是否会继续这个专业？
What made Angel choose jewelry design as your undergraduate major? Could you tell us some me the details? Will you continue this major if you want to go to graduate school?
Before applying to universities, I had already decided that I would enter the art and design world. I often changed my mind on what to study precisely, whether it was package design, interior design, or fashion. Finally, I had made a decision to study graphic design, as I had an interest in illustration, advertising, as well as packaging. It was not until I went to PrattMWP, where I had met my jewelry professor. She taught me 3D design in freshman year and introduced me to jewelry. I had found more interest in the craftsmanship of jewelry more than I did in graphic design. The jewelry world was unfamiliar to me, but I had grown more interested and passionate about it when discovering more about jewelry, specifically art jewelry. Now having graduated, I have plans to continue my studies in jewelry design next year, to further improve my skills in my craft, experiment with various materials, and broaden my creative knowledge.
➤ 木牙MUYA:被消费主义包围的我们除了现实中对⾃然的破坏，实际上在虚拟世界中也有着许多⼈造”“排 泄物”影响着我们的精神世界。对于这类的伤害Angel是否有想结合在作品中？
Surrounded by consumerism, in addition to the destruction of nature in reality, there are actually many man-made "excrements" in the virtual world that affect our spiritual world. Does Angel want to incorporate this type of harm in his works?
I am well aware of how social media can be a toxic place that can break down one’s spirits and cause many unwanted insecurities and issues regarding mental health. I have experienced throughout my life having to deal with the effects of social ideologies. Because social media is such an open platform, many people easily fall into self-destructing habits of comparing each other’s posts, even if it is only on the surface. Social media portrays people’s “perfect” lives, and I think it is an important topic to talk about because it is not only you and me who feel this way; it is almost everyone who has access to the internet.
I would like to create something that could potentially dive deeper into this topic, especially the ideologies of how women, even men, feel imperfect if they do not look or act a certain way and the abuse that comes with it. Like many artists out there, this topic has become an important one, where I think art allows us to express our opinions on the matter.
➤ 木牙MUYA:2021 艺术的边界逐渐被打破的局势越发明显。Angel认为是什么样的发展方向促使着这样的局势？与现有的国内情况结合看待这一类发展？
It is increasingly clear that the boundaries of art are being broken in 2021. What direction does Angel see driving the situation? To view such developments in the context of existing domestic conditions?
I think jewelry is an intimate medium for art, and it integrates the body into the work. When designing the pieces, I wanted something that could express and exaggerate the narrative behind the details. Especially with the piece, Riven, without the hand gesture, the feeling of the piece would not exist. The hands and body movement brings more poetic and dramatic energy to the piece, almost bringing them to life. The wearer’s frustrations and emotions are portrayed through the interactions with jewelry. People say you can tell a lot about how a person feels by studying their body language, and I believe that sometimes actions speak louder than words.
➤ 木牙MUYA:能简要的与我们分享下，在“Posion From Within”的系列作品中，使⽤银（silver）这个材料的灵感来源和选择原因吗？
Could you briefly share with us the inspiration and reason for using silver in the series "Posion From Within"?
I mostly used silver; not only is it pure in its color, but it the different feeling it gives off with different finishes. The color was what attracted me the most as it not only illuminated under the sun but it had also reflected the sunlight off its surface, highlighting other elements of each piece, such as the resin parts. I also saw it fitting to use silver as a material due to its historical use. Throughout Chinese history, we know of silver being used to detect poison, specifically arsenic. It was believed that silver would turn black when it came into contact with the undetectable poison. Like the chemicals that harm us, we often do not detect them.
The functionality of contemporary jewelry is no longer limited to the accessories of human body. How does Angel view the changes of contemporary jewelry in different aspects at present? What's the change?
Before deciding to study jewelry, I had only thought of jewelry as an accessory, which most people do. However, not only is it an accessory, it is used to express your identity. In the contemporary world, I think jewelry is not just a bodily ornament. Still, it is more of an artist’s expression, almost like writing poetry through three-dimensional forms, manipulating and using the body as an element within the work. This narrative coincides with the energy of the body. It is not just an accessory like a painting is not the only decor. Nowadays, people are very interested in the concepts and meaning behind jewelry pieces, and more conceptual pieces of jewelry are being highlighted in society.
➤ 木牙MUYA: 最近在读些什么书？有没有特别值得推荐的？可以大概讲一下内容怎么发现这本书的和为什么读吗？
What are you reading these days? Do you have anything in particular to recommend? Can you tell me a little bit about how you found the book and why you read it?
Angel: 赫尔辛基的艺术珠宝商Wiebke Pandikow是我最大的灵感来源之一，她利用塑料袋废料将其改造成美丽精致的树叶。她的作品确实给我留下了深刻的印象，因为她的工艺和耐心创造了如此精致的作品，把塑料袋变成奇思妙想的作品。
A Helsinki-based art jeweler, Wiebke Pandikow, is one of my biggest inspirations as she works with plastic bag wastes and transforms them into beautiful delicate leaves. Her work truly leaves a sparkling impression in my eyes as her craftsmanship and patience have created such delicate work that manipulates plastic bags into whimsical pieces.
“Well, maybe it started that way. As a dream, but doesn’t everything? Those buildings. These lights. This whole city. Somebody had to dream about it first. And maybe that is what I did. I dreamed about coming here, but then I did it.” —James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl
“ 好吧，也许一开始就是这样的。作为一个梦想，而不是一切? 这些建筑。这些灯。整个城市。总得有人先梦到它。也许这就是我所做的。我先是梦到了这里，然后我也来到了这里。 ”
✤ Angel Zhang邮箱（Angel Zhang Email)：email@example.com