Weaving from the margin: femininity in contemporary jewellery within a Taiwanese cultural context

Chi, Y 2017, Weaving from the margin: femininity in contemporary jewellery within a Taiwanese cultural context, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Art, RMIT University.

Document type: Thesis
Collection: Theses

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Title Weaving from the margin: femininity in contemporary jewellery within a Taiwanese cultural context
Author(s) Chi, Y
Year 2017
Abstract This research project investigates the role of femininity in jewellery and its cultural connotations specific to Taiwan. It seeks to find out how jewellery may embody and incorporate ‘femininity’, and how this may contribute to an emerging narrative of femininity in Asian art jewellery. Further it seeks to discover what is understood by the ‘creating body’ and ‘wearing body’ through femininity in contemporary jewellery. To address these questions the project researches the cultural contexts of contemporary jewellery from the perspective of gender studies. It connects with recent art jewellery frameworks and the material practices of gold and silversmithing to examine and develop works that illustrate and investigate femininity through the frameworks of mid-twentieth century, French poststructuralist feminist theorists. The methodology specifically draws from Écriture féminine (women’s writing) by Hélène Cixous and Chora (maternal space) by Julia Kristeva.

The project engages practice-led research through the making of jewellery and objects to investigate materials, forms and narratives that can convey femininity as an aesthetic attribute and social characteristic. The project methodology is both ‘Heuristic Enquiry’ and ‘practice-led’. It follows a cyclical process of self-investigation as a female artist through studio practice and reflection. The research process entails experimentation in the creation of jewellery and objects. Through this process of experimentation and reflection I am able to refine the concepts and address the research questions that are driving my project. This process of enquiry through making responds to the non-linear writing processes of Écriture féminine (women’s writing), which privileges cyclical writing and situates experience before language.

Contemporary jewellery is an emerging field in Taiwan. The research examines the current situation of the field in Asia and locates my jewellery practice within that field. It also considers my marginal identity as a Taiwanese jeweller within a broader international discourse. The outcomes of this research are articulated through a series of jewellery and objects, which engage and investigate the concept of femininity.

Through my works, the aim of the research is to construct a ‘feminine subjectivity’ by developing a fluid, sharing platform between the ‘creating body’ and the ‘wearing body’. This is a method that situates the role of the body in the making and the reading of the work on the body. Through the investigation, experimentation, manufacture and installation of jewellery objects, this research offers new perspectives of engaging, viewing and interpreting the potential for femininity in jewellery and objects.
Degree Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Institution RMIT University
School, Department or Centre Art
Subjects Crafts
Fine Arts (incl. Sculpture and Painting)
Culture, Gender, Sexuality
Curatorial and Related Studies not elsewhere classified
Asian Cultural Studies
Textile and Fashion Design
Keyword(s) Contemporary jewellery
Écriture féminine (women’s writing)
Gender Study
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Created: Fri, 16 Mar 2018, 10:21:49 EST by Denise Paciocco
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