Zhang Ming Hui the Academy of Fine Arts alumna aims to “cultivate the mind” with her latest collection. As part of our Global Young Talent in the November issue of Harper’s Bazaar UK, we had the pleasure of speaking to the unique jewellery designer, Zhang Ming Hi about her thoughts translate through her jewellery design.
1. You just graduated from the Central Academy of Fine Arts, where you did jewellery design, where did your fascination with jewellery stem from?
Yes indeed, I have gained a deeper understanding of the creation process, the organization of forms, the exploration of materials and the logic methods between aesthetic judgments all aims to explore the significance of their existence. In addition, I think that whether the jewellery is valuable or not does not depend on the value of its materials, but on the significance expressed in the design. A piece of jewellery can not only decorate the appearance, but also conveys a new significance and the emotion of modern people as well as carries a personal attitude toward life. I like my jewellery to be wearable. In my opinion, wearing my jewellery is like wearing my thoughts to live a poetic life.
"A piece of jewellery can not only decorate the appearance, but also conveys a new significance and the emotion of modern people as well as carries a personal attitude toward life."
2. Your collection is mainly inspired by nature, how does this take shape in your work and what lead to this source of inspiration?
The mountain is quiet, and the water is far away. The garden focuses on landscape, folding, circulation, collage, space-time poetics. Today's gardens are no -longer the home of our daily lives, so I have refined and collected several images: mountain rocks, deer, pools, bamboo forests, forming a poetic container. I hope that these containers can be worn by us, close to our senses, and pursue the ancients' hope of the construction of gardens, in order to be together with natural landscape, to cultivate the mind.
3. What is your favourite piece from your collection and why?
My favourite piece is the shadow of bamboo in the poetic container. I collected the shapes of many bamboo shadows and studied Alexander Calder's unbalanced sculptures. Then I used the principle of magnetic levitation to make bamboo into an unbalanced sculpture, floating on the pool.
"I collected the shapes of many bamboo shadows and studied Alexander Calder's unbalanced sculptures."
4. Your pieces can be defined as quite avant-garde can you talk us through your design process and the skills necessary for your pieces?
From 2018 to 2019, I began to explore my inner world to understand what are the things that I am really concerned about and interested in. I was devoted to creating my graduation work poetic containers, which was originally inspired by the artistic conception beyond the existence of material itself presented by Oriental classical gardens through the space between objects. I selected some classic things in gardens such as mountains, rocks, ponds, bamboo forests, and deer as the theme for my creations. With bamboo, silver, and silk as the base material, and supplemented by the principles of magnetic levitation and gravity structures.
5. What have you learnt during your time at university and what tips do you have for future fashion students?
In CAFA, I choose jewellery major in my sophomore and started to study materials and related manufacturing processes, basic metal crafts, enamels, jade sculptures, ceramics, and carvings. I suggest future fashion students that they don't need fixed materials when doing a creation. At the same time, I also think that logic is essential, that is the origin, which adds sensory dominance, otherwise your work cannot be felt.
"At the same time, I also think that logic is essential, that is the origin, which adds sensory dominance, otherwise your work cannot be felt."
Discover Ming Zhang Hui's full collection
Words by Reka Dala