PMQ Corner #34

How is Beauty Forged?

Loupe

Text & Photo by Kit Chan
Translated by Derek Leung

When you pick up a glitzy gold item, the questions suddenly crossing your mind may be: How much does it weigh? How fine is it? How long does its value last?

But once your mind is filled with dollar signs, what is pitifully neglected is every single careful thought behind the birth of the jewelry --- we probably forget that every piece of jewelry is after all a design.

To produce design-oriented jewellery, the snobbish eyes have to be closed. Instead, what has to be look through the magnifying glass is the entire process behind the real work, and this is exactly the original intention proper of Loupe, which means the tiny magnifying glass used for analysing the jewelry.

Founded by Chow Tai Fook Jewellery and supported by Chow Tai Fook Art Foundation, Loupe is a design incubation space designed to provide a platform for local and international up-and-coming talented jewelry designers and artisans to design, produce and sell their art pieces while engaging with the general public for idea exchange and synergy.

Local goldsmiths with rich practical experience will render technical support for the designers-in-residence weekly so that the craftsmen of two ages manage to carry on the process of inheritance in the aspect of jewelry production.

Another point we can conclude the industry will no longer be mysterious here in this platform is that everyone is welcome to witness the production of jewelry and even to communicate directly with the designers.

Despite such thoughtfulness, how can the declining old-fashioned gold-and-silver-forging industry be repositioned so that more attention can be drawn to the effort in design instead of the dollar sign?

The answer is still "design": five rooms divided from a long space are furnished with colours with calculation initially from white to grey and finally to black to epitomise the passage of art and an evolution of jewelry from stones.

Detail-mindedness can also be observed from the wall where the Venetian Plaster is carefully applied for up to three layers by experienced paint technicians to show the best result of the exclusive elegant marble-like lines in the plastering reminiscent of the raw materials tailored for jewelry production.

The central space of the shop sees the showcase area of the avant-garde items from overseas including tiny shiny rings and the recent exhibit of the Smog Free Project curated by Dutch artist and innovator Daan Roosegaarde, who compressed the haze particles collected from Beijing into gemstones for the production of rings and cufflinks with each of which commemorating every 1000 cubic metres of clean air produced for the city.

Another worth-mentioning is the bomb jewellery from Cambodia, which are made from the bomb debris to convince everyone in the world to make something beauty but not wars.

At the end of the space is a seclusive tea room where jewelry-inspired bakers are invited to design delicate desserts for those who love jewelry and sweet dainties to savour the beautiful time.

All in all, Loupe sees from its tiny magnifying glass a universe awaiting our further creative exploration, and beyond the excessive glare of the jewelry the ever-flowing beauty accentuated with the infinite vitality, creativity and possibilities.

Loupe
H410, 4/F, Block B, PMQ
http://www.pmq.org.hk/shop/loupe/