The exhibition In Between is currently running at the San W Gallery/Studio in Shanghai until February 2nd, 2018. It is a duo exhibition that presents the results of Gussie van der Merwe and Lavinia Rossetti's residencies.
They have a different background so they had a different approach to the new city and its culture. Gussie van der Merwe is a South African artist graduated in Visual Art as well as a Master degree at Stellenbosch University in South Africa. She has been living in Shanghai for 4 years and worked in an other field before she returned to pursue her passion: jewelry design and art.
Lavinia Rossetti is an Italian contemporary jewelry maker currently based in Florence. After a BA in Art History at the University of Pisa with a special focus in art jewelry, she attended Alchimia contemporary Jewelry School in Florence where she was tutored by many international artists such as Peter Bauhuis and Ruudt Peters.
After the observation of the country in where they have been hosted, they started to develop their own critical interpretations of Shanghai through handmade object or jewelry.
For both In Between is their first exhibition in Shanghai, I let them to introduce their own work, suggestions and inspirations.
Gussie van der Merwe
Shanghai is a city that is always changing, comprising of old and new; modern and traditional, Eastern and Western aspects. It is in these contrasts, in particularly the juxtaposed woven bamboo fences and modern concrete walls, where I found my inspiration for this residency.
From this starting point, my attention was drawn to other woven products that I saw around my areas such as baskets and fans. My research subsequently expanded to weaving techniques from other countries as I realised that weaving, in its various forms and materials, is visible in most cultures around the world.
This body of work is a manifestation of my experience of living in China for the last four years, my travels to other countries and my South African heritage. As a Caucasian Afrikaner born in South Africa, a by-product of European colonialism, my background is a hybrid of cultural experiences woven together. Through my work, I explore the cultural effects of an increasingly globalized world and in the process weaving together a new culture and identity - that of a global citizen.
Eating is one of the natural ways to explore a new country. After arriving in China chopsticks were the first ‘tool’ of mediation between me and a new reality. These utensils became my keys for new flavours and for a new culture.
I am fascinated by the symbolic meaning as well as the aesthetic and intrinsic qualities of chopsticks.
By cutting up, interlacing, imprinting I transformed one the most common objects used to create structures that became wearable pieces inspired by my new surroundings. The work is my intuitive analysis of China and its flavours, a very fast digestion of all the visual inputs that I got during this stay.
This body of work consists of 157 pairs of disposable chopsticks.
I collected the chopsticks that came with every take- away meal and asked the staff of the gallery to use chopsticks which were made to be washed and reused after meals.
In Between by Gussie van der Merwe and Lavinia Rossetti
From December 2nd, 2017 to Febbruary 2nd, 2018
Tuesday -Saturday 10:00-17:30
San W Gallery Studio
B-101, No.1059 Kang Qiao Road,
San W Gallery/Studio, founded in 2015 and located in Shanghai, has been dedicated to leading and promoting contemporary arts and crafts. San W Studio offers a comfortable workspace for production of contemporary jewelry and lamp-blown glass artworks. San W Gallery boasts a large collection of works of arts of which the materials involve ceramic, glass, modern jewels, lacquer, fiber from extraordinary contemporary international craftsmen. The Gallery supports the activities of the contemporary arts of crafts with a dedication to exploration and making breakthroughs.