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Apple from Eden—necklace

Xuewen Yao

2020, feather, resin, brass, 5.5 x 4.5 x 5.5 inches, photo credit to Xuewen Yao

“Being moved by the poetic justice, I use design to study the existence of justice and its value in reality. This is the origin of my collection. If functional law cannot evoke our sense of identity, then what does justice rely on to demonstrate its power? The conflict between justice and freedom is especially obvious in modern society. Any judicial case involving rights and morality can lead to public inappropriate comments or physical conflicts. Unrational groups will move towards democratic tyranny.

I always sit on a park bench, watching birds eating breadcrumb, or looking up to watch them flying in the sky. Their wings look gorgeous in the sunshine. It is feathers that give them the ability to fly freely. And I sometimes meet another scene, mud and blood covered wings, leaving broken and crushed feathers. It’s a sign of death, the other extreme of freedom. What will happen to democracy out of control? The white feather texture looks beautiful and holy, but it is also easily broken and polluted. I cut the white feathers and seal them into the resin. Translucent resin is hazy, creating a peaceful world in which feathers representing freedom are imprisoned, and any anxiety, anger, corruption are forbidden. The metal variant seeds hidden in jewellery objects contain both the richness and darkness of life. All the seeds look quiet, waiting for a moment or someone to come and arouse them from deep sleep.

If the Goddess of Justice is not blindfolded, will her judgement still fair? If Adam and Eve didn’t eat the apple of Eden, would you want it? And where is the boundary between justice and freedom?”


Xuewen Yao, an artist living in Shanghai, always using jewelry and installation as the medium to express. After graduating from Sheffield Hallam University in the United Kingdom, Yao has always insisted on exploring the integration of different disciplines in the contemporary art context. Her works are mostly based on the thinking of economic, medical, judicial fields. She is good at using non-traditional materials poetically to reflect the contradictions and dislocations existing in the real society. Yao firmly believes that no matter what discipline, its highest value is to leave traces on people, such as kindness, integrity, dignity and the desire for peace.

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