Joungmee Do ‘Longevity’ @ e.g.etal

20 06 2011

Regular readers and friends know that Joungmee has been one of my favourite jewellers for many years now, and I did an Iybsa class with her a few years ago and she’s just lovely. So seeing her ‘Longevity‘ exhibition at e.g.etal was such a pleasure and it is an incredibly beautiful collection.

image courtesy of, and with thanks to, the gallery

Exhibition media: ““In Korean folklore there are ten symbols that represent man’s desire for long-life and happiness in the present world: the ten symbols of longevity.” The sun, mountains, clouds, rock, water, cranes, tortoises, deer, pine tree, and immortals’ fungus appear in folk paintings as decorative motifs. ‘Longevity’ is an extension of Joungmee’s exploration and appropriation of Korean folklore.

I have mentioned that I’m very much liking the manner in which e.g.etal is setting up their exhibitions this year… and this is no exception. The pieces all together are so contemplative and peaceful. I hope to soon have an installation image to share with you…

Iybsa has the potential to be rather flat, however Joungmee has successfully introduced some wonderful three-dimensional elements into her work, bringing it to life. These pieces also have more gold than I’ve seen in her work before … and it is just gorgeous. Especially so is the neckpiece below, which looks to have a sheet gold ‘laminated’ over silver, and the silver slightly shimmers through with the chiseling marks … just incredible.

image courtesy of, and with thanks to, the gallery

My friend and I spent a long time looking at each piece, marvelling at the construction … the clasps are handmade, which always makes me happy!

I’ve also noticed the more geometric and abstract shapes in this work compared to her previous production pieces in e.g.etal … I like the voluminous aspects of the brooches, like those in the first image above. And I especially am attracted to the whiteness of the silver components.

I found some more images on ArtWhatsOn – my favourite is below:

click on image for original source

E.g.etal is also showing another exhibition at the same time, which I’ll write about shortly.

JoungMee Do ‘Longevity‘ is at e.g.etal until 2nd July 2011.

My jewellery collection #4

25 09 2009

I’m having fun going through my collection in detail and remembering how each came to me and what was going on in my life at the time.

Another piece I collected through the RMIT jewellery auctions, is the below pin from one of my most favourite jewellers Joung-Mee Do. I’m pretty sure this was in second year, so that makes it 2005. I recall I lost out to Kirsten Haydon for the other piece, a pendant I think, Joung-Mee donated that year!


It’s a little piece of mild steel (approx 3cm long) which shows three of Joung-Mee’s signatures: etched floral iconography (though it’s difficult to see in this image; it is more clear on the reverse), a beautiful dark-blue ground effected through heat-colouring, and the use of the traditional Korean technique of metal inlay Choum Iybsa. I participated in a workshop with Joung-Mee in early 2006 to learn more about this technique; it’s incredibly labour intensive, but by now we all know that’s something I love!

The metal is ridged with a fine-edged tool (less than 10mm long and a sharp edge), kind of like chiselling but only hammering directly down into the metal. Depending on the intended pattern, this is usually done in columns down the metal and then at right-angles and then diagonally in both directions – so much work, and in my experience about half of the time was spent sharpening the tool. Then small-gauge wire is hammered into the ridged metal.

There are a number of places to read more about Joung-Mee and see some more images: here, here, here, Workshop Bilk, e.g.etal, fotograf, RMIT, Studio 20/17, Buda 2009, among others. I’m glad to own a piece by her, even if it’s a wee little one.

… last post on my jewellery collection #3