Lin Cheung is a maker of evocative and conceptually-driven jewellery. While completing an MA in Goldsmithing, Silversmithing, Metalwork & Jewellery at the Royal College of Art in London, she studied under tutors from the New Jewellery Movement, who encouraged her to explore ideas before choosing a specific material or process.
Her early jewellery and object-based projects were deeply rooted in memory and personal history. More recent works have re-interpreted traditional forms, such as lockets, in fresh, contemporary, and tactile ways which emphasise the intimate nature of objects worn on the body. Cheung is interested in visualising the hidden symbolic values and social functions found or perceived in jewellery and objects as they are worn, used, and treasured.
Lin Cheung is Senior Lecturer of Jewellery Design at Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design in London.
Papaver Argentum (Silver Poppy)
Fine silver precious metal clay, bronze, polymer clay
Ø 12 - 40mm
Papaver Argentum, Lin Cheung, 2009. Photo: Lin Cheung
For the Papaver Argentum project, Cheung produced brooches from impressions of WWII shrapnel damage on Exhibition Road walls of the Victoria & Albert Museum, London.
Cheung sees these ‘wounds’ as a reminder of the devastation caused by any form of war and conflict: domestic, personal and otherwise. Without initially knowing what the outcome would be, she took polymer clay impressions of the marks and then cast them into silver and bronze.
The title Papaver Argentum responds to their floral and almost poppy-like appearance, and Cheung suggests that they are worn as an alternative poppy: a generic symbol of peace.
Shrapnel damage on Victoria & Albert Museum, Exhibition Road. Photo: Lin Cheung
Lin Cheung: “I have visited the V&A Museum hundreds of times and each time I am there, I look at and touch the walls on the Exhibition Road entrance. An obsessive-compulsive tic it may well be but there is a method to my madness. At first glance it looks like the walls are in dire need of repair until you come across a carved stone informing you it is war damage from 1939-1945, ‘left as a memorial to the enduring values of the museum in a time of conflict.’ The shrapnel damage never fails to move me. More poignant still is the decision taken to leave these marks as a lasting memorial of troubled times.”
Papaver Argentum at Central Jewellery Ltd, 2009. Photo: Lin Cheung
Papaver Argentum was first shown in 2009 at Central Jewellery Ltd, a small, traditional jewellery store on Clerkenwell Road, London. Cheung noticed that their windows are emptied of jewellery every evening, at weekends and during holidays. She approached them with the idea of using the windows and soon after created a display based on the Papaver Argentum project. Unable to exhibit real items for security reasons, the display was entirely paper-based – cut and formed by hand.