You wouldn’t know how to relate A time of sincerity Name of the winning work of the fifth edition of the Loewe Craft Prize – an award with which the Loewe Foundation rewards excellence in craftsmanship – with the ethereal basket, which hours before its author, the Korean Dahye Jeong, made it tremble in the exhibition by only using it with fans fanned the finalist at the Seoul Museum of Handicrafts (SeMoCA). Woven with the finest horsehair, “it expresses the robustness and beauty of life,” says the short explanatory sheet. Whatever the connections are honesty time it is an object of almost unearthly beauty. “Something perfect that you can’t tell if it’s from the past or the present,” said journalist Anatxu Zabalbeascoa, president of the competition’s jury, at a press conference on Thursday afternoon, June 30, as he unveiled the winning project.
The beautiful work of Dahye-jeong is one of 30 finalists selected by a jury of 11 international specialists from more than 3,100 from 116 countries. With the Craft Prize, the Spanish company Loewe has been making craftsmanship visible in its most beautiful form since 2016. “Jeong uses something as delicate as horse hair as a structural material, which adds flexibility to an architectural-looking piece. It’s a contemporary way of applying and making visible a technique that has been used for 500 years to make nearly invisible hats and is on the verge of extinction,” said Abraham Thomas, curator of architecture, design and decorative arts at the Metropolitan Museum of New York, and part of the 13 members of the jury for this edition. “We’re not just talking about objects here. There is a historical and cultural dimension,” he added.
We’re not talking about a single type of narrative, typology, or notion of perfection, either: the first honorable mention went to German Julia Obermaier’s rimless jewels, crafted from overlapping pieces of clear quartz and made to appear small by their size sculptures. . The second mention went to a twisted clay pot studded with ceramic tiles and streaked with a bonsai brush print, used by South African Andile Dyalvane to evoke the coast of southern England. “This award rewards skill, human ability, sensitivity, dedication, time… there are many components that are mixed in different ways in each piece,” explained Patricia Urquiola, a member of the jury since the award’s inception.
Jeweler Trinidad Contreras, the only Spaniard among the 30 finalists, didn’t win, but the two independent (but combinable) pieces that made up did crypsis, her project, represent the mysterious richness of an alternative idea of jewelery making. Contreras crafts one-of-a-kind pieces using unusual materials in a craft more accustomed to precious stones such as stoneware or ceramics. Thanks to this call, “contemporary jewelry has a place to be displayed alongside other disciplines,” the artist said during the pre-consultation exhibition, an exhibition that will remain at the SeMoCA in the South Korean capital until July 30. The power of this call, which has so far swept through London, Paris, Madrid, Tokyo and now Seoul, is a speaker like no other for some artisans who normally move in the narrow circle of specialist galleries. Also an economic injection: The prize is endowed with 50,000 euros.
For Northern Irishman Jonathan Anderson, creative director at Loewe and architect of the Craft Prize, “it’s important now to maintain integrity and maintain the level”. What have you learned in these five issues? “The importance of the narrative: The videos we made with the contestants aren’t just about winning; We create a platform where people can interact and discover each other,” says the designer. “Sometimes we’re so busy making Loewe for Loewe that it’s great to be able to work on a platform where, strange as it may sound, other people are telling their story…even as I’m telling mine!” “