“Smelling Memories”
Wearable Jewellery, 2019. Gelatine, Soap base, Silver-plated brass, Essential oil. Creating New Materials. mm 540x280x260. Credits: Linlan Xiao

I interviewed Chia-Hsien Lin, one of the seven winners of Preziosa Young 2020, the international contest organised by Le Arti Orafe since 2008, which gives to emerging talents more than one occasion to show their work and to take part in the contemporary scene of research jewellery.
This year the jury was composed by jewellery experts, like goldsmith artists or teachers, namely Giovanni Corvaja, Eugenia Gadaleta, Kazumi Nagano, Cóilín O’Dubhghaill, Renzo Pasquale, Carla Riccoboni, Sam Tho Duong.
A selection of the winners’ pieces was displayed in the PREZIOSA space at Inhorgenta fair 2020 (Munich, 14.02 – 17.02), while the complete exhibition and a high quality catalog will be presented during Florence Jewellery Week 2020 (Florence, 28.05 – 4.06).
Stay updated because the prizes still at stack are many: LAO SPECIAL PRIZE will give one of the selected candidates the opportunity to spend three months as “artist in residence” in Florence. Furthermore, thanks to a collaboration agreement between LAO and the Inhorgenta fair, one of the selected artists will get a free exhibition space for its 2021 edition (INHORGENTA PRIZE).

Smelling Memories.
Wearable Jewellery, 2019. Gelatine, Soap base, Silver-plated brass, Essential oil. Creating New Materials. mm 540x280x260. Credits: Linlan Xiao

Our senses are essential to the knowledge and experience of the world. Precisely, your work reflects on the strong connection between perfumes and memories. That means to survey our brain reactions triggered by the sense of smell, which is able to evoke past moments of our life. Could you describe your research process?

CHIA-HSIEN LIN: Of course. I am going to roughly separate it into two parts: material experimentation and participants interview.
In material experimentation, I started with the question of ‘How to preserve scents?’, tried to find a material combination to capture scents for a longer time. In order to testing those material samples and concept, I invited people to smell my testing pieces with different scents and interview them to share what they feel or if the scents remind them some personal memories. After that, I took some time to reflect and get back to material experimentation to make some improvement. Repeating these processes gave me not only some idea to improve colors and shapes of the artworks, but also the finding that people can evoke their own and unique past experiences and memories by smelling art pieces.

Smelling Memories
Wearable Jewellery, 2019. Gelatine, Soap base, Silver-plated brass, Essential oil. Creating New Materials. mm 150x200x120. Credits: Linlan Xiao

How do you manage to transfer in material this specific connection between scents and feelings and make it endure?

CHIA-HSIEN LIN: In my opinion the link between scents and feelings is people’s experience. Scents can bring past personal memories alive. My artworks, is like a medium, which can preserve and release scents for a period of time, for viewers or wearers to experience and feel invisible effects of olfactory sense by wearing and smelling the jewellery pieces.

Is there an artist or an artistic tendency that inspires or influences you particularly?

CHIA-HSIEN LIN: Actually, when designing own project, natural world has a great influence on my artworks, such as landscape, flowers and plants. Also, my life experiences and conversation with people around me, like peers, friends and teachers, usually trigger my design ideas. I think everyone is an artist and everything is significant.

Smelling Memories.
Wearable Jewellery, 2019. Gelatine, Soap base, Silver-plated brass, Essential oil. Creating New Materials. mm 210x150x80. Credits: Linlan Xiao

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