Humans like to flaunt. Ornaments, which attach certain symbols of achievement to the bodies of human, are the direct means by which humans can reveal their desires. We have long been creating symbols related to honor, power, affiliation, money, education, and so on. Examples include the spectacular decorations of the Sistine Chapel symbolizing the sublimity of religion, or the coat of arms boasting the authority of an imperial family. Today, these symbols can be found in the buttons of clothes, the insignias of uniforms, or the patterns engraved on various types of certifications. The press technique using the dies is a typical method for making those objects. This method provides continuous production in large quantities, making it suitable to produce objects that display a sense of belonging to a particular group. Also, compared to the casting technique, the press technique enables production even with a small amount of metal, and thus achieves economic efficiency and objective with the same volume but with a lighter weight.
I reprint the shell of desire by taking advantage of the metal die that was used to fulfill the purpose. The act of printing objects in a symbolic language is analogous to spreading metaphorical messages embedded in those objects. In the process, the symbolic content and its role initially produced by the die are broken down and
reproduced in an empty form. The authority and meaning of the symbol become overshadowed and turn into an element solely for the surface decoration. The laurel wreath awarded to the marathon winners represents victory, glory, and honor. The laurel tree in university medals designed to incorporate such a meaning no longer acts as a symbol of honor in my work. As it simply indicates a decoration that embodies the plant's leaves, it becomes juxtaposed or blended with other elements to signify a different image.
Meanwhile, the metal dies I have collected can be classified into several types. The first type involves the decorative forms of a pendant, rings, animal shapes, which are ornaments commonly used in the Western world, as well as the dies related to the decoration for making buttons or hair clips. The second type involves those related to education, such as university seals. The third type entails those for creating objects to display a sense of social belonging or superiority, such as badges or company logos. The last type involves the dies that suggest power and wealth, such as insignias or silver bullions. As such, my ornaments, which rearrange the symbols that visualize the object of human envies and bind them together into a bouquet of stories, connect with humans again to form fresh relationships with them.
Ye-jee Lee was born in 1984 in South Korea. Her major at the University was German Language and Literature. At the last year of the University, she started to learn metal work to make creative jewelry. She used to travel a lot around the world such as Egypt, Fiji Island, Nepal and so on. She was interested in jewelry from those exotic counties and decided to make her own extraordinary jewelry.
Ye-jee Lee presses the symbol of humans’ desire using collected dies from the different counties. She has been participated various exhibitions and international fairs after her graduation of Kookmin graduate school major in Metalcraft & jewellery in 2014. Her jewelry was presented at the fair such as MAD in New York City, Sieraad in Amsterdam, COLLECT in London, IHM in Munich, JOYA in Barcelona and so on. Also, she won the 3rd BKV-Prize in 2015 and selected for Talente 2018. She is not only a jeweler but also a lecturer at the college in Korea.