With Degree Show Two: Design now open, we take a closer look at their final projects and the inspirations behind them.
MA Design (Jewellery) student Neung Wi Kim’s final collection Samrimryok incorporates pebbles and stones collected from beaches she has visited. The project title translates as an “immersion of self within nature”. Using the meditative symbolism of the beach environment, Neung Wi’s collection is an attempt to translate past experiences of nature into object forms. Neung Wi exploits sensations of touch and the qualities of unique hand-cut stones to create wearable icons, and reminders, of wellbeing and restfulness.
Taking inspiration from specific locations she is drawn to, Neung Wi explores the materiality of her chosen pebbles – collected from Mongdol, Chesil and Brighton beaches. Smooth or intriguingly rough, multi-hued or monochrome, patterned or plain, the stones from each area hold a different, unique narrative. They allude to the value of personal relaxation and the specific, personal experiences she has had with each individual stone. The act of gathering stones from the beach is a compulsive act; Neung Wi presents a new way to preserve these keepsakes, reconsidering the value of stones in contemporary jewellery. Her collection challenges the prevalent idea of purchasing items with mined stones, in place of incorporating something you have collected yourself.
Mongdol Beach, Geoje, South Korea, 2013
34° 46′ 17.49” N
128° 38′ 21.5664” E
“In 2013, I visited Mongdol beach during a summer trip in South Korea. It was my very first experience of smooth pebbles without sand. It was calm and comforting, with the gentle sound of waves lapping. For me, greyish colour pebbles play an important role in mental health, and the atmosphere there seemed to soothe minds.”
Chesil Beach, Dorset, United Kingdom, 2016
50° 37′ 36.012” N
2° 33′ 37.9692” W
“On a cold winter day in 2016, I was presented with the superb landscape of Chesil beach. It is made up of a huge bank of around 180 billion pebbles and stretches 18 miles along the Dorset coast. I found these various stones along the long bay on the cool and foggy coast. Chesil beach’s environment and the appearance of the pebbles were very different to that of Mongdol beach in South Korea – both the beach mood and the pebbles’ formative characteristics in accordance with environmental geology.”
Brighton Beach, Brighton, United Kingdom, 2017
50° 49′ 7.9428” N
0° 8′ 7.0584” W
“Brighton is located on the South Coast of England – its beach is covered with uniquely shaped pebbles of all sizes. From sunrise to sunset in Brighton, the beach felt vibrant with positive energy. This beach also has a totally different shape, colour and texture in comparison to other beaches that I have visited. Not only that, but somehow, the pebbles’ shape and colour seems to evoke the atmosphere of the environment – even when taken out of it.”