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Jewellery & Metal (MA)

Weiran Cai

Weiran Cai is a Jewellery designer and artist based in China. After graduating from Tsinghua University in Glass Art, she turned to jewellery and the wider area of contemporary art. She makes wearable, playful objects and reveals her thinking on specific social issues through her artworks: these include the invasion of privacy by information technology, the anxiety constructed by society, and the transformation of people in an era of drastic change. She endeavours to combine aesthetic form and her reflection on the topics that concern people today.


Awards

Third Prize, Third China Hejian Craft Glass Design Innovation Competition, China, Oct. 2018

Special Nomination Award for Fable, Student Artworks Exhibition, Tsinghua University, China, May. 2018


Exhibitions

Third Annual China Contemporary Arts and Crafts, China, Sep. 2018

Stanislav Libenský Award, Czech Republic, Aug. 2019

In a modern society that is penetrated by capitalism and commodities, beauty products make up an increasing part of the whole market. Prompted by anxiety about their bodies and appearance, people are willing to pay for all kinds of products and services, including extremely expensive machines, painful surgery, ridiculous recipes…

Weiran’s project Anxiety Store is a practice critiquing commercial operations, aiming to satirise the objectification of the body and the commodification of anxiety. At an early stage of her work, user research revealed a great deal of useful information about the behaviour and cognitive features of people who are anxious about their appearance. Market research provided her with plenty of information about current and historical beauty products/service. Based on the information from her early research, she tried to re-form many common commodities to make her own new products to deconstruct the notion of beauty. To mock the propaganda, many scientific and pseudo-scientific concepts and cultural, fancy notions were introduced into the visual design and slogans.

Weiran is interested not only in the present, but also in the future of the beauty industry. Will a cyberpunk world depicted in the fictions come true? With ‘high tech and low life’, will people replace part or all of their bodies as easily as changing their outfit? How will people survive in a more and more exploitative system?

As a result, products appear to have the function of ‘improving’ users’ appearance according to the standards set by society. They might help to release people from anxiety for a moment. But in the long term, they contribute to the exploitative system instead of the welfare of people.


Read more:

https://www.instagram.com/anxietystore.uk/

https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100067760753460

A poster of diet trainer
Diet trainer
Natural jujube thorns
Diet trainer — Spoon — 20*7*5cm
Diet trainer — Fork — 19*4*4cm
Diet trainer — Chopsticks — 24*5*9cm

The aversion therapy to decrease your appetite.

Medium:

Wood Thorns

Size:

24*5*9cm(chopsticks) /20*7*5cm(spoon)/19*4*4cm(fork)
A poster of fitness cutlery
Dumbbell cutlery
Components of dumbbell cutlery
Adjust the weight of dumbbell cutlery
Assemble the parts you need
User experience (dumbbell spoon)
User experience (dumbbell fork)

A combination of diet and workout.

Medium:

Steel, Plastic, Rubber

Size:

45*13*13cm(dumbbell spoon)/46*13*13cm(dumbbell fork)
A poster of abs corset
Abs corset
Before & after

Flab becomes abs in a second.

Medium:

Fabrics, Plastic

Size:

25*17*8cm/29*17*8cm
A poster of fitness cupping therapy — Cupping therapy on biceps.
Cupping therapy on abs — Get your abs in 5 min.
Cupping therapy on cheeks — Get cheeks plump in 5 min.
Cupping therapy on lips — Get your plump lips in a second.
Cups — 8.5*7.4*4.7cm(bicep cups) 7.9*7.5*4.5cm(ab cups) 8.3*6.7*4.5cm(ab cups) 7*5.2*5.2cm(cheek cups) 5.3*5.5*3cm(lip cup)

Cupping therapy is a traditional Chinese medicine used for treating cold, muscle soreness, arthritis, etc. By creating a vacuum in the caps on the skin, it leaves bruises and bulges on patient’s body. In this series, Weiran uses cupping therapy to shape/enhance the muscles of the body.

Medium:

Clear resin, Plastic, Rubber

Size:

Variable
A poster of replaceable body parts
Replaceable body parts — Available, affordable, replaceable
Replaceable ears
Replaceable eyes
A replaceable mouth
A replaceable nose
Replaceable body parts
Replaceable body parts in packages — Standard modules
Artificial beauty — We have all kinds of shapes of body in our database. Choose the one you want.
Artificial beauty — Customize your special pieces.
Replaceable body parts made of future material — Click "Launch Project" and play the models.

In the future, we might easily be able to replace our body parts with artificial organs. You will be able to buy the standard modules in any grocery store at a very affordable price, as easily as buying a piece of steak. You will also be able to customize your special parts if you have sufficient budget.

Medium:

Resin, Acrylic paints, Digital objects

Size:

5*3*5.7cm(eye)/5.3*4*3.5cm(nose)/6.6*5*1.7cm(ear)/7*4*3cm(mouth)
Gaze at the gazer
Gaze at the gazer
Gaze at the gazer
Gaze at the gazer in a selfie
Gaze at the gazer-Necklace
Gaze at the gazer-Brooch — 5*9.8*0.5cm
Gaze at the gazer-Earrings — 13.5*15*5cm
Gaze at the gazer-Hairclip — 7*5*1.5cm
Gaze at the gazer-Ring — 5*5*2.5cm
Gaze at the gazer-Glasses — 13.5*15*5cm

Being gazed could be a common cause of anxiety. The popularisation of mobile phones with cameras and the boom in streaming media have meant that people are gazed at everywhere, at any time. Under the gaze of technology and the curiosity, there is nowhere to hide.

When gazers gaze at the wearers, this series of jewellery reflects the image of the gazers to let them see themselves and be conscious of their own behavior.

Medium:

Convex mirror, Alloy

Size:

Variable