" Off the society norms and recognizing of a world out of eyes."
Meiyi Yang Thesis project IN BETWEEN
Women play many different roles in the society, the mother being busy in taking care of children, the obedient child in front of her parents, the student studying hard in school, or the diligent employee in a company. They frequently switch between different roles to do their best by making every effort. However, life now is far more difficult than imagined. The workplace, school or family…every place is women’s “battleground” due to the social discrimination and prejudice. For example, one suffers from the “glass ceiling” in the workplace, gender discrimination in the job hunt, domestic violence in family or bullying in school. Under such circumstances, they need to be tough and brave in order to stand out and strive for victory for their rights.
And the inspiration of the IN BETWEEN collections is originally from a Chinese folk story about “Mulan”. For taking her father’s place in the army, Mulan had transitioned from a weak girl to a powerful woman warrior. I was deeply attracted by this story and therefore wanted to design something related to the story. Although armored characters are generally men on first thought, I believe that women not only need to dress them up with jewelry, but also be equipped with armors to play various roles for fighting and protecting themselves, and cut their way out for the future.
Besides, the concept of IN BETWEEN is more likely to seek for coexistence and balance. The weak girl and tough warrior, which one are you? The one who talks less or much, which one are you? The above choices are just like armors and jewelry, they are items of significant difference. For example, the former seems born for males, while the latter are generally worn by females. My works, however, is to make these two different items connect and then mix under a certain state, so as to producing the beauty with a tough feeling. Such body pieces can not only protect women and create a strong appearance, but also displays beauty and elegance. Lastly, I hope that all women can be tough and brave in pursuing their dreams and advance bravely as warriors with armors.
Meiyi Yang's thesis exhibition was on display at Bevier Gallery from April 22th to May 8th.
Reception: April 22th, 5-7pm
Address: 73 Lomb Memorial Dr. Rochester. NY. 14623
Let's Talk about Love
This is Meiyi's the first experimental jewelry collection, which express the three steps of love - flow, melt, and vanish. she explores and uses jewelry as a new language for debating love in our time - "No matter how sincere the promises were, people are just doing things unrelated to love under its name. Everything will go back to the beginning."
The Dialogue with Zaha Hadid
I once read an interview with Zaha Hadid in a magazine, where she mentioned that she is against right angles, and that in her opinion, constant repetition is most boring thing that can happen. As we know that there are no perfectly straight lines in nature, but only the vagaries of curves, by which my heart is much more touched than some modern dogma theories like "Less is More" or "Simplicity is Beauty". Therefore, Zaha’s source of inspiration for design is also affected by natural forms. Beauty is one of the most important standards for the design of jewelry. While Modernists excessively chases after functionality and simplicity, it all seems so powerless in front of today's art design field of jewelry, which encourages innovation and character. That is why we should seek beauty through a new viewpoint.
My work The dialogue with Zaha was on display in 2013 Beijing international Jewelry exhibition.
Interviewed for ILOOK magazine 04/2014 (Beijing, China)
Medium: Silver, Moonlight stone
Photographer: Elizabeth Lamark
I believe the most desirous thing in the world is freedom. So I made a ring and named it “Escape”. It shows my hope to get out of pressure, fleeing to freedom. However, when people try so hard to escape from their “undesirable” situations, they only end up finding themselves running into other unsatisfactions. Hence there is no real freedom. A good example would be marriage. There is a book called “Fortress siege” by a famous Chinese writer Zhongshu Qian, in which he wrote “Marriage is like a fortress besieged: those who are outside want to get in, and those who are inside want to get out. For another case, children want to grow up when they were young, because in most young people’s minds, growing up equals cutting loose from their parent’s control or school’s discipline. People are never satisfied with their current situations and continuously pursue higher goals, and that cycle repeats. They believe that whatever’s next will be better but the present is often ignored which could become wonderful memories years later. I want to constantly remind myself through this ring: no matter what life you are chasing for, cherishing the welfare in front of you is equally important.
Castle in the Sky
“Laputa: Castle in the sky” was my favorite film when I was a child. It tells a story that there is a flying Laputa island out of the earth, which is abandoned, but much fortune is hidden in it, so many people have been seeking it. With the description of Hayao Miyazaki, there is a giant tree in the Laputa, in my view, that is the home to our souls. I do not know whether it is because I have seen the film so many times when I was a child or because in my heart the home to our souls itself is green? The whole Laputa is a giant tree flying in the eye of a tornado, with everything quiet hidden in it, the quietest place in the world. With the development of our society, it is so crowded with activities that we can hardly find a quiet place for our heart to rest. While in the Laputa, although it is a society with extreme advanced scientific and technological achievements, people are more willing to return to the natural essence, waiting to be found by those who is keen on developing advanced science and technology, and, reflecting when they will end the development of the advanced technology? In everyone` heart, there should be a Laputa, which is a pure land to allow us to calm down and reflect ourselves. The ring I made is also the epitome of Laputa in my heart, various colorful stones inlayed on it, and it is just like my Laputa where my dreams or sorrows are stored, all of which making up of the beautiful scenery on my Laputa. And the bracelet, with some obvious structural designs, implies that I am building a home to my souls, decorating them with beautiful stones and patterns to establish my castle with my own stories.
If I had a child, I would offer him a quiet hometown like Laputa, and let him grow up with the giant tree and the running creeks. If one day he had to come into the modern society, he would have such a quiet place in his heart, and when he is lost in the society, he could see the light of happiness again only if he walked following the memory of Laputa.