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“Experimental” aka /uhk·speh·ruh·men·tl/ aka “involving a radically new and innovative style” — thank you, Merriam-W. Shenzhen-born New York-based designer Meiyi Yang uses her jewelry as a new language for debating the ever-trending topics of love’s rises and ruins, society’s she-battlegrounds, and freedom’s fortunes. Musing the fears of constant repetition, Utopia is a battlefield.   

The "Off-Of" Collection by Meiyi Yang. " Off society's norms, in recognition of a world out of sight." All rights reserved

The “Off-Of” Collection by Meiyi Yang. ” Off society’s beaten moral path, in recognition of a world out of sight.” All rights reserved

The "Off-Of" Collection by Meiyi Yang. " Off society's norms, in recognition of a world out of sight." All rights reserved

The “Off-Of” Collection by Meiyi Yang. ” Off society’s beaten moral path, in recognition of a world out of sight.” All rights reserved

The "Off-Of" Collection by Meiyi Yang. " Off society's norms, in recognition of a world out of sight." All rights reserved

The “Off-Of” Collection by Meiyi Yang. ” Off society’s beaten moral path, in recognition of a world out of sight.” All rights reserved

Designer Meiyi Yang throughout her craft expresses a three-step process of flowing, melting, and vanishing. Her experimental jewelry strives to strike the balance between male and female, ethereal beauty and bold backbone, torrential technological advancement and the calm and quiet hiding in the eye of society’s storm. Creating a catalyst, fashion hereby becomes a new language for debating love, and other “drugs,” in our time. 

Avoiding all sense of repetition, Yang, for example, tells the folk tales of Chinese warriors who transcended the limitations of gender and social connotation and translates these into the universal language of molded metals — born by siblings in bold fashion arms, only. 

As this designer lifts us up where we belong, Temper enters the Yang Utopia.  

Go-Between, In Between

Women take on many different roles in society. The mother is busy taking care of the children, the obedient child behaves solemnly in front of her parents, the student works hard to maintain that academic A+++ and the diligent employee duly takes note of her company’s every word. Frequently switching between the aforementioned typecast roles, life now is far more difficult than imagined. The workplace, school, family… Each and every one of these often becomes one woman’s “battleground” due to social discrimination and prejudice. “Pride” thus becomes your ally.

The inspiration of the IN BETWEEN collection originally stems from that one Chinese folk story about “Mulan”. The original, minus Disney prince. By taking her father’s place in the army, Mulan had managed to transform herself from “weak” girl into “mean” girl, in a positive way, a powerful woman warrior. Although armored characters are generally men at first glance slash thought, Yang in this Warrior Princess-inspired design project expressed the belief that women not only can use jewelry as a way to spruce up their outfit but they, too, can be equipped with fashion’s armor to take on their various roles in daily life and pave the path for a powerful future.

Additionally, the concept of IN BETWEEN seeks coexistence and balance. The above choices in “fragile versus fighter” go hand in hand. Just like armor and jewelry, they are sibling items of significant difference. For example, the former seems destined for males, while the latter is generally born by females. Yang’s work, however, connects both and mixes them together so as to produce beauty with a rougher tougher edge. Such body pieces do not only protect women and create a strong appearance but also display their beauty and elegance.

The "Castle In The Sky" Collection by Meiyi Yang. All rights reserved

The “Castle In The Sky” Collection by Meiyi Yang. All rights reserved

The "Castle In The Sky" Collection by Meiyi Yang. All rights reserved

The “Castle In The Sky” Collection by Meiyi Yang. All rights reserved

The "Castle In The Sky" Collection by Meiyi Yang. All rights reserved

The “Castle In The Sky” Collection by Meiyi Yang. All rights reserved

Creating Castles In The Sky

The animated “Laputa: Castle In The Sky” (天空の城ラピュタin Japanese) was Yang’s favorite film growing up. Directed by the infallible Hayao Miyazaki, its 1986 storyline follows the adventures of a young boy and girl attempting to keep a magic crystal from a group of military agents while searching for a legendary floating castle in the sky. Laputa Island looks like a giant tree which, in Yang’s view, is the home to our souls; it is a goliath steadily hovering within the eye of a tornado, all that is quiet and calm hiding inside. With the development of our modern-day society, urban life has become overtly cramped and over-crowded, overflowing with activity to the extent that we can hardly find a quiet place for our minds to rest, decompress.

The people of Laputa, though the island is a society of extremely advanced scientific and technological achievements, are more willing to return to their natural essence, waiting to be found by those who are keen to develop advanced science and technology, and, at the same time, musing on the end of all tech development. Yang believes that within everyone’s heart, there should be a Laputa; the purest of land which allows the urban man to calm down and reflect upon ourselves.

The ring Yang created embodies the epitome of Laputa in her own heart, inlaid with a variety of colorful gems, becoming a place where her dreams and sorrows are stored, all of which combined make up the beautiful scenery that is Yang’s Laputa-esque Utopia. The collection’s bracelet, featuring some obvious structural designs, implies the building of a personal home for the soul, decorating them with beautiful stones and patterns to establish one’s own castle. featuring one’s own life stories.

In Fear Of Constant Repetition

The late architect Zaha Hadid (1950-2016) once mentioned in an interview being “against right angles,” and that, in her opinion, constant repetition is the most boring thing that can possibly happen.

Mother Nature features no such thing like a perfectly straight line, but only shows off the vagaries that are “curves,” by which the creative heart of Yang is far more affected than such modern mantras as “Less is More” or “Simplicity is Beauty.”

Hadid’s source of inspiration subsequently is affected by natural forms. “Beauty” is one of the most important standards for the design of jewelry. While Modernists excessively chase functionality and simplicity, these all fall into oblivion when confronted with today’s true, non-fast, art of accessorizing, ever-encouraging innovation and character. This reasoning in se is why we all should look at “beauty” from new, non-conforming angles. Blurred, curved lines are the new brash fash.

The "Escape" Collection by Meiyi Yang. All rights reserved

The “Escape” Collection by Meiyi Yang. All rights reserved

Escaping The Ordinary, Entering Utopia

The most desirous thing in the lookbook of Yang is the concept of “freedom.”  Out of this curiosity and wonder, stems an experimental ring called ring “Escape.” The piece showcases Yang’s hopes to escape from pressure and foray into freedom. Yet as often is the case in life, there is a catch. When people try so hard to escape from their “undesirable” situations, they may end up only finding themselves running into other unsatisfactory dilemmas. Ergo, there is no real freedom.

One example she brings to the table on the topic at hand is that of marriage. “There is a book called ‘Fortress Siege’ by a famed Chinese writer Qian Zhongshu [1910-1998] in which he wrote, ‘Marriage is like a fortress besieged: those who are outside want to get in, and those who are inside want to get out’.” Quote, Yang.

Mankind is continuously in pursuit of higher goals, and that cycle repeats itself ad infinitum. People believe whatever comes next will be better, the grass is always greener, etc., but often ignore the present which could deprive them of some wonderful memories in the making. The “Escape” ring serves as a constant reminder for Yang that no matter what life you are chasing after, cherishing all that is well and wonderful and right in front of you is equally important.

You have alreayd entered a state of bold bliss.

 

 

Both mind and body are creative platforms that enable expression and growth.

Utopia is all around.

 

 

Bio, Exhibitions, Awards, Publications

Meiyi Yang is a jewelry designer born and raised in Shenzhen, China. She completed her MFA at Rochester Institute of Technology, majoring in Metal and Jewelry Design. Meiyi is dedicated to pursuing her passions in life; she draws inspiration from the minor details that are often missed when living life too fast. Meiyi has a deep interest in fashion and garment design, this allows her to go beyond the traditional metal smith mindset. Fashion allows her to explore new creative boundaries and implement new ideas and concepts within her work. Meiyi firmly believes, “the mind and body are creative platforms that enable expression and growth.” Jewelry design serves as a catalyst to convey Meiyi’s ideologies and development.

AWARDS – Arts & Crafts Design Award 2017 – Winner of 2017 NICHE AWARDS – 2016 Rising Star 30 exceptional craftspeople under the age of 30. online showcase http://www.acwshowcase.com/ – Overall winner and 3D Art Category winner. 2016 “Spotlight” Art Exhibition Contest host by The International Gallery Of The Arts (IGOA), Toronto Canada – Nominated of Savage Art Council’s 10th Annual Juried Art Show and Competition. 06/2016 – 2016 Barbara Heinrich Studio Award: Outstanding Achievement for Creativity Award. – 2010 The Second Prize in Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts.

 

EXHIBITIONS – NYC Jewelry Week ONE FOR THE FUTURE – The 4th TRIPLE PARADE Biennale for Contemporary Jewellery, Shanghai, China, 2018 – “OFF – OF” group show, 10/2017 Biggercode Gallery Soho. New York – WAVELENGTH Fashion X Art New Consumerism, 02/2017 The Hole Gallery. 312 Bowery Street, New York, NY 10012 – ” Wearable Expressions” 7th International Juried Exhibition, 01/2017-04/2017 Palos Verdes Art Center/ Beverly G. Alpay Center for Arts Education, 5540 West Crestridge Road, Rancho Palos Verdes, CA 90275 – ” THIS IS US ” 2016 Holiday show, 12/2016 -01/2017 http://shop.fougallery.com/2016holiday-show/ Fou Gallery, 410 Jefferson Ave, #1, Brooklyn, NY 11221 – ” MAKERS 2016 ” 5th Annual Membership Show, 12/2016 – 01/2017 Brooklyn Metal Works, 640 Dean Street, Brooklyn, NY 11238 – “Spotlight” Art Exhibition Contest online exhibition, 15/06/2016 – 01/08/2016 The International Gallery Of The Arts (IGOA), Toronto Canada, www.international-gallery.org – Savage Art Council’s 10th Annual Juried Art Show and Competition, 06/2016 – 07/2016 – MFA Thesis exhibition IN BETWEEN, 04/2016-05/2016 Bevier Gallery, James e. Booth Hall 7A, 73 Lomb Memorial Drive, Rochester, NY, 14623 – “Wearable Expression”, 12/2015 Memorial Art Gallery, 500 University Ave, Rochester, NY, 14607 – 2015 Rochester Fashion Week, 10/2015 905 Monroe Ave, Rochester, NY. 14620 – “Metal Interpretations”, 05/2015 Rochester Contemporary Art Center, 137 East Ave, Rochester, NY, 14604 – “On Display”, 05/2015 Rochester Brainery, 274, Goodman St N, Ste B134, Rochester, NY, 14607 – “Reading” jewelry exhibition. “阅读”首饰展。07/2014 – 08/2014 OCE Gallery. 230 Tianhe Road, Tianhe District, Guangzhou, China. – “JEWELRY,IDENTITY” ” 首饰,身份 ”—2013 Beijing international Jewelry exhibition, 09/2013 – 10/2013 The China Millennium Monument, 甲9 Fuxing Rd, Haidian, Beijing, China. – BFA Thesis exhibition THE DIALOGUE WITH ZAHA HADID, 05/2013 – 06/2013 UCITY Art Museum of GAFA, 168 Daxuecheng outer ring W Rd, Guangzhou, China. – Expo project: Poster design “Living in Shanxi” (Group project) 05/2010 – 10/2010 Shanxi Pavilion in Expo 2010 Shanghai China.

 

PUBLICATIONS – Ellements Magazine May 2018 – Rouge Fashion Book issue No. 1 2017 – ELLE UK Magazine July issue 2017 – Aesthetica Magazine June/July 2017 issue – Tales from the Toolbox – Narrative Jewelry – L’Officiel India March issue – Studio Visit Magazine Volume 35 – Aesthetica Magazine, October/November 2016 Issue 73 Online Q&A http://www.aestheticamagazine.com/infrastructures-as-influence/ – Exquisite Arts Magazine, Vol 1 – July/August 2016 – Cover page and interview http://go.epublish4me.com/ebook/ebook?id=10089647#/0 – SIGNATURES Magazine (Rochester, NY) Volume 30. 2015 – Interview“Architect of Jewelry” for ILOOK Magazine (Beijing, China) , 03/2014

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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FEATURED IMAGE: Meiyi Yang Jewelry, “Mother and Child,” 2019. All rights reserved
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Elsbeth van Paridon

China Fashion, Design and Urban Culture Groupie, Editor-in-Chief at Temper Magazine
Temper Magazine Founder and Editor-in-Chief Elsbeth van Paridon holds a degree in Sinology from the University of Leiden (Netherlands) and additionally is just another run-of-the-mill fashion aficionada.

After tackling Beijing for some six years where she worked for China International Publishing Group, she spent a moment in time moseying down steep alleyways and writing about their fashionable and underground features in Hong Kong.

Van Paridon most recently managed to claw her way through a Europe-based academic endeavor called "Journalism". 'Tis in such fashion that she has now turned her lust for China Fashion/ Lifestyle and Underground into a full time occupation.

Van Paridon hunts down the latest in Chinese menswear, women’s clothing, designer newbies, established names, changes in the nation’s street scenery, close-ups of particular trends presently at play or of historical socio-cultural value in Chinaplus a selection of budding photographers.

Paired with a deep devotion to China’s urban underground scene, van Paridon holds a particular interest in the topics of androgyny, the exploration of individuality and the power that is the Key Opinion Leader (the local term for “influencers”) in contemporary China.
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