1. 5 Where The Hell Are My Keys?!

    To prepare for new work and for his exhibition, Nhật-Vũ Dang travelled to Vietnam for the first time in his life. Though Dutch by birth, his connection to the region is inevitable: his parents lived there until they fled the country in 1981. Together with his twin brother he experienced for the first time the towns and landscapes they only knew from stories, and they met with their relatives who had remained there. It was once again a confrontation with their complex background: they are considered to be an outsider in each of their homelands.

    Both Vietnam and The Netherlands have a long-standing ceramic tradition, each saturated with local codes and typical imagery. While travelling in Asia, Dang collected all sorts of porcelain dishes, bowls and other objects, and did the same afterwards in his native country. The oriental ceramics are decorated with scripture, flowers and mythological animals, the Dutch pottery is as legible and meaningful to him: figures in traditional dress, boats, historic adornments. In spite of all the similarities, it is also a culture clash… Dang took that literally and smashed everything into shards, east against west, west against east. Fragmentation as a motif: first fate scattered a family around the globe, now it determines how the pottery falls into pieces.

    With the decorations on the shards Dang composed a fairytale-like graphic novel: about a boy dreaming about a dragon that might fulfill a wish, a phoenix that holds the power to start life over again, boats on the water, somebody in local costume. The actual shards were carried over to the artist’s own existence by casting them in silver. Each piece was fitted with a fixing ring, and he tried as best he could to engrave the original decoration of each fragment in the metal surface.

    These pendants mean to both brothers a key to their roots, an entry to the past. They also provide some grip on the future: so each piece is fitted out with a strikingly contemporary, leather key-strap. The resulting necklaces fit into a long tradition: one of jewellery that is steeped in meaning and symbolism. All art, and certainly jewellery, possesses the remarkable feature that everybody can interpret it time and again in a highly personal fashion, which is also the case with the new pieces made by Nhat-Vu Dang. He made shards that mend.

    Text written by Ward Schrijver

  2. 4 Vũ : A Name Is Like a Spell

    ‘Vũ’ is derived from the Vietnamese word for ‘UNIVERSE’ or ‘COSMOS’ and gets the meaning of ‘STORM’ whenever added to a name with the intention to give the name and the name-bearer strength and power. In a way it functions like a jewel to the first part of my name: ‘Nhật’

     

    By stamping ’Vũ’ into my jewellery I intend to give the jewel and ultimately the wearer the symbolic force connected to my name.

  3. 3 / Flowers at Night and Day

    This series of brooches is my take on floral jewellery. But rather than using the imagery of flowers and plants I used the way they react to light. It is based on flowers which bloom during daytime, a reaction called ‘photoperiodism’.

    The brooches look monochrome in a dimly lit environment but when you shine light on them, or rotate them towards a light source through a rotating mechanism in the back, a coloured shape made out of light appears on the white surface and the brooch begins to ‘bloom’

    Click on ‘Video’ beneath the images to see how the brooches react to light.

  4. 2 / ACTIVATE!

    This collection is based on the effect of light and colour bouncing from one surface on to the other. A collection meant to be worn on white or coloured clothing. Bangles which seem to be floating around your wrist, brooches which seem to float on the garment and necklaces made out of elements that fit into each other and due to the structure the wearer has the possibility to make a choice about the final appearance of a piece.

    All of these pieces have the possibility to radiate colour on to the garments depending on when, how and with what the pieces are being worn.

     

     

  5. 1 / Momentary Jewelry

    For my graduation I made a collection of jewellery pieces made out of cardboard. The jewels cannot reach their full potential without human interaction. At first glance they seem like big, bulky grey objects, but whenever you make the effort to come closer, pick it up and wear it, you notice how light it actually is and that each piece has a hidden inside which is revealed through interaction and movement.