Cristina Zani’s work is a reflection on the urban environment of South Korea. Her collection – My Seoul – is inspired by the contrasting architecture of Seoul. Here she is interviewed by Designer Jewellers Group member Shelby Fitzpatrick.
Why did you choose South Korea as your inspiration?
In 2011 while doing my master I spent four months living and studying in Seoul as part of an exchange programme with Kookmin University. It was a great experience that influenced the way I approach the creation of my pieces.
What caught your attention in South Korea?
I was inspired by the contrasting architecture of Seoul: its sombre modern buildings intertwined with the colourful and ancient wooden temples and palaces dotted around the city.
How did you translate that inspiration into your work?
I decided to represent this contrast by juxtaposing different materials, shapes and colours. Like the buildings in Seoul, my pieces show the vulnerability of wood and metal when exposed to time and elements; the layers and colours that slowly transform with the passing of years. Simple in form, but rich in stories and complexities.
Where did you train?
I did my MFA in jewellery at Edinburgh College of Art. Prior to that I studied Literature and Languages in Italy.
Where is your studio nowadays?
I recently set up my studio in the Lake District. It is a little studio in the middle of the countryside, very quiet and surrounded by nature.
What are your plans for the future?
Given the current location of my studio, I would like to start experimenting with locally sourced wood. I am also going to explore new materials and techniques for colouring the wood and the metal. I have just discovered milk paint and I am curious to see what I can do with it.
Cristina’s work can be seen in the Barbican during our Winter 2012 show, on now until 1st January 2013.