Korea is hot

5 April 2022

Korea is hot

If there is one country in the spotlight, it is Korea. Pop music, ceramics, design and jewellery are all equally hot. The group of six well-known Korean contemporary jewellery designers, Secon Lab, is no exception. Half of the group bases their work on traditional jewellery materials. The other half explores non-traditional materials such as leather, textiles and plastics. There is a constant exchange between new and established artists in the group. Materials and techniques are critically examined. Does all the work resemble each other in the end? On the contrary. The artistic signature of each group member is strengthened by it.

Of the six, Young-Im Lee perhaps sticks closest to classical forms of jewellery, in combination with special techniques like Keumbo. Ye-Jee Lee, on the other hand, comments on the making process and presses metal into shapes. We recognise pieces of rings or brooches made of bunnies. Kyuig Han’s work is based on the yo-yo and the contrast between hard metal and soft leather. While the plastic brooches by Hanna Kim are reminiscent of tentacles that grow and disappear on your computer screen. That Jaewook Choi also uses colourful plastic discs in fragile necklaces, you only see when you look closer. The work of Jounghye Park is as exuberant as these necklaces are quiet. Hand-dyed silk provides the colour here. 


Saskia van Es.


Jaewook Choi, Alcemy-orange, 91cm, silver,plasticbag, 2021

Ye-jee Lee, Manipulated Animals 1, necklace, sterling silver, nickel-silver, aluminium, leather, 150×285×20mm, 2021


Hanna Kim, Wrigglingly, Brooch, Plastic, Sterling silver, 120x130x30mm, 2021.


Jounghye Park, With Bird, brooch, Hand-dyed Silk, 925 Silver, Copper and Plastic. 12x18x7cm 2021.


Young-im Lee, Coexistence SA, Brooch, 925 Silver, Acetate, 8×9.8×2.5cm, 2021.


Kyuig Han, Stratum Super Stratum, Brooch, leather, 925silver, 2021.


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