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Jewellery & Metal (MA)

Zinan Li

Zinan Li is a jewellery designer based in China. Zinan completed a Bachelor of Arts degree in Jewellery and Related Products at Birmingham City University. After her BA study, she studied at the Royal College of Art on the Jewellery & Metal MA program. Most of Zinan's works are based on observing the things around her inspiring her to expand this into her own work. Zinan is passionate about developing humanistic care-based themes in her work. She thinks this approach is more real and hopes to convey her thoughts and opinions through forms of jewellery and find resonance with audiences. Zinan focuses on using new materials such as feathers, silicone, and resin, to create jewellery. She believes that contemporary jewellery should be very inclusive, and the new materials can express this characteristic better.


Exhibitions:

September 2018-2019: Graduate Pieces, School of Jewellery, Birmingham

September 2018: International Jewellery London

June 2018: New Designers 2018, Business Design Centre, London

June 2018: Graduate Show, School of Jewellery, Birmingham

November 2016: “JAR” jewellery show, Button Factory, Birmingham

September 2016: International Women’s Day Showcase, Parkside Building, Birmingham

May 2016: International Women’s Day Showcase, Curzon Building, Birmingham

November 2015: ‘Pot of Joy’, School of Jewellery, Birmingham

April 2015: AIVA summer show, Shanghai

November 2014: ‘Sustainable Design’, Academy of Arts & Design, Tsinghua University

September 2014: ‘Second life’, Academy of Arts & Design, Tsinghua University


Zinan’s inspiration comes from her feeling of being anxious in certain social situations, as someone who suffers from a social phobia: people like this normally use body language or similar behaviour to protect themselves in specific social situations.

This is a way to reduce these people’s anxiety, in fact, this kind of social phenomenon also appears in everyday life. Psychologist John Hejduk has pointed out that there is an invisible ‘bubble-shaped space’ around everyone, which he calls ‘private space’, For example, when people are wearing headphones and listening to music, this private space will be created and defined by themselves: the feeling of security will be brought to the wearers through this behaviour. Zinan hopes that people can define their own ‘bubble spaces’ through her work. It provides a choice: when the user wants to be alone in public, they can cover themselves and enjoy a moment of tranquillity in the hustle and bustle; also, the user’s mental state can be communicated through their interaction with her pieces: when the wearer feels less confident, they can put down part of the piece to cover themselves: in contrast, the wearer can lift the covering to show themselves. However, When they want to take part in groups of others around them, they can lift the veil and blend in. Everyone should respect their own feelings, and at the same time respect the diversity of cultures and individual differences, accepting the different requirements of others for private space, so that society can achieve unity and integration.

 In early times, a mask had the function of protecting the wearer; however, as times changed, the mask could also show the personality of the wearer and be used as a face covering. People can use her work as a way to express themselves – for example, joining the conversations of others. She thinks the mask always has an interesting dual nature: its power lies in the dynamic between hiding and revealing – a good one looks both inwards and outwards at the same time, she also aims to let the wearer express their feelings and style in the form of a mask, focusing on how to create personal spaces behind the mask. Her work can also be used by people to cover themselves, building virtual personal spaces and showing another personality that allows people to be more comfortable of being themselves. These two functions are bound tightly together; she wants the viewer to use this feature of her work to express their own feelings.

This is the hat designed for wearer in middle- aged, because most of the time, they will wear more official, therefore I decided to choose to make some changes based on the top hat for ladies. I mainly focus on the movement of the edges of the hat. when the wearer feels unconfident, they can put down the part of the piece to cover themselves, in contrast, when the wearer wants to take part in the surrounding groups of others then they can lift the covering to show themselves.

Medium:

Feather, stainless steel, fabric, palladium white gold plating, paperboard

This hat is for young generations, the ideas came from the sunhat, in China, because the sunhat are very popular and widely used among young age, this kind of hat could cover the sunshine around so I make the front part of the hat bigger to make sure it’s bigger enough to protect the wearer from surrounding attentions on them, however, this hat could adjust the height by the wearer and leave the choice to the wearer to decide under which circumstances show their faces.


Medium:

FEATHER, STAINLESS STEEL, FABRIC, PALLADIUM WHITE GOLD PLATING, GILDING METAL, PAPERBOARD

Medium:

FEATHER, STAINLESS STEEL, NYLON MESH, PALLADIUM WHITE GOLD PLATING, GILDING METAL, PAPERBOARD

Medium:

FEATHER, STAINLESS STEEL, NYLON MESH, PALLADIUM WHITE GOLD PLATING, GILDING METAL, PAPERBOARD

Medium:

FEATHER, STAINLESS STEEL, NYLON MESH, PALLADIUM WHITE GOLD PLATING, GILDING METAL, PAPERBOARD

Medium:

FEATHER, STAINLESS STEEL, NYLON MESH, GILDING METAL, PAPERBOARD

Medium:

FEATHER, STAINLESS STEEL, PAPERBOARD

Medium:

FEATHER, STAINLESS STEEL, PALLADIUM WHITE GOLD PLATING, GILDING METAL, PAPERBOARD

Medium:

FEATHER, STAINLESS STEEL, PALLADIUM WHITE GOLD PLATING, GILDING METAL, PAPERBOARD

Medium:

FEATHER, STAINLESS STEEL, PALLADIUM WHITE GOLD PLATING, GILDING METAL, PAPERBOARD