Previously trained as an architect, Edinburgh based jewellery artist Alice Bo-Wen Chang explores the relationship between body, space and object(s) through her kinetic and structural body sculptures. With a Masters degree in architecture from Princeton University and several years of working as an architect in New York City, she has decided to pursue a second post-graduate degree in Jewellery and Silversmithing at Edinburgh College of Art, and was awarded with distinction a Master of Fine Art in June 2011.
Experimenting with different metals, plastics, enamel, and combining innovative technology with traditional hand craft skills, she approaches jewellery design as constructing spaces on the topographic body contours. Her two series, 'Bodyspace/body-scape' and 'Luminous Windows', both inquire into the potentialities of two-dimensional geometries to a three-dimensional transformation via creative means of patterns and modules. The paralleled investigations developed simultaneously as a third research method to allow a continuous discourse and cross examination within her practice.
Her exploration of space starts from a flat surface as it does not possess a spatial relationship, lines can be cut and pulled apart to create an animated form that express the expanded space. The uncompromising lines and squares in 'Bodyspace/bodyscape', repeat in a predictable manner and are folded into endless possibilities of forms and shapes. The rigorous and logical orders result in an unpredictable, even organic growth of variations that contrast and interact with the curvature of the body.
The second exploration is less about the space in a sculptural sense, but the interchangeability and interaction between the objects and the wearers. Inspired by tessellating patterns in Chinese and Islamic architecture, and the mechanism of the sliding tile puzzle, 'Luminous Windows' comprise the wearer's action and movement, the tactility draws a concentrated focus into the object that invokes an invisible bubble of space in between them. The wearer's fingertips chase after the missing tile's empty space, which enables the sliding movement; they also mingle through the dangling rings in search of the appropriate room for the hand or wrist to be in place. Every piece has a puzzle to solve, the body reacts and interacts, and the space becomes luminous.
Alice's attempt to interpret body and space through functional and non-functional objects is also a documentary journey of her transition from architecture to jewellery, and she aspires to evoke the frisson of this unique combination.
Year Established: 2011
Selected for 'Brand New - New Brand' Special Exhibition at Inhorgenta 2012, Munich Germany and Annual Marzee International Graduate Show 2011 at Galerie Marzee, Nijmegen, Netherlands
Top six runner of Best New Designer of the Year Award, New Designer Graduate Show 2011, London, UK
Master of Find Art in Jewellery and Silversmithing, awarded with Distinction, Edinburgh College of Art, Edinburgh UK