21 GRAMS What’s the weight of our soul?

Reading Time: 

1 min {{readingTime}} mins

21 GRAMS is an experimental jewellery exhibition organized, curated and conceived by Ruudt Peters writes Ilaria Ruggiero.

Guo Xin, 1 Gram - Rebound, 2018
Silver plated, stainless steel, jade

Sun Jie, Who are you, 2018
Golden paint, metal, resin

Beginning in the 1970's, Ruudt Peters, a pioneering Dutch conceptual jewellery artist, challenged traditional definitions of adornment by pushing the boundaries of context, wearability, materials and presentation. He defines himself as a philosopher and an alchemist, his pieces of jewellery being extensions of a person. 

Peters Ruudt, Last Breath, 2018
Silver Glass

El-Asmar-Nedda, Transit Vessel, 2018
24K gold

Always challenging the meaning of jewellery and pushing its inner capability of expression, Ruudt Peters invited a large number of artists to work on the creation of jewels and objects with the weight and content of the soul, identified with ‘21 grams’.

Hint Nils, Elephant, 2018
Leather, sweatoildirtgreaseduststainless steel

Sajet Nina, Endlessly, flowing, 2018
Silk, Steel gold plated 12 K

The weight of "21 grams" is a mysterious concept, both imaginative and literary.

The idea has inspired filmmakers, songwriters, fine artists, novelists, and documentary makers and it comes from an unusual experiment made on April 10 1901 by Dr. Duncan MacDougall in Dorchester, Massachusetts.  

Kwon Seulgi, Journey, 2018
Silicone, pigment, thread, stainless steel

Ted Noten, No Title Yet, 2018
Paper with the text SOUL, silverwire

Dr. MacDougall attempted to prove that the human soul had physical mass by weighting the bodies of patients right after their imminent death.  

Based on the fact that he could prove that 1 patient lost 21 grams directly after the moment of dying, MacDougall published his hypothesis that the human soul has a physical weight of “21 grams”

Hsu Meiing, 21g-The Heart Sutra, 2018
Bamboobamboo charcoalpapercotton yarnbrass

Cao Bifei, Brittle, 2018
Australian milk powder, wood glue, baby oil, copper plated silver 

The curator invited an equal number of Western and Eastern artists to take part in the exhibition in order to see how vision, aesthetic and outcomes in their process of imagining the soul, might vary. It is very interesting to acknowledge the alternation of the works by focusing on both the materiality of the researches and the mythologies belonging to their different cultures and knowhow.

Kalman  Lauren, The Void, 2018
Gold-plated copper

Ishida Meiri, Exit / Entrance, 2018
Casting glass, Silver

Different artistic solutions talk about their intimate and inner ways to see and deal with life and death, while reasoning on the idea of the soul itself.  

Is the meaning of SOUL the same for everyone?  Probably not, each culture and even each person, given their personal believes and faiths has different understanding of what soul is.

Kalman  Lauren, The Void, 2018
Gold-plated copper

Wang Xiaoxin, Soul weight: the weight of the thousand, 2018
Stainless steel, copper, gold

Some of the most important international jewellery artists took part in this absolutely captivating experiment.

Making in relation jewellery and such nonmaterial and imaginary expression of the body is definitely a very brilliant way to push the boundaries of the creativity in totally unknown territory of human expression.

Koen Jacobs Saiwala, Saiwala, 2018
Silver, resin, Avaiki pearl, black pearl

Domingues Patricia, Round Duality, 2018
Reconstructed jade

The exhibition will be on view until  December 10th at

China Academy of Art
218 Nanshan Road

Zhang Zaozao, 21 grams (Chinese wing), 2018
Brass, gold

List of artists

Paul Adie, Manami Aoki, Peter Bauhuis, David Bielander, Rudolf Bott, Helen Britton, Beatrice Brovia, Bifei Cao, Carla Castiajo, Guozhen Chen, Shuming Chen, Nicolas Cheng, Xiang Cheng, Florian Chumeng, Shachar Cohen, Erinn Cox, Aaron Patrick Decker, Peter Deckers, Patrícia Domingues, Yanli Duan, Iris Eichenberg, Nedda El Asmar, Benedikt Fischer, Shaoxiong Fu, Sara Gackowska, Jie Gao, Maya Gao, Shan Gao, Wei Gao, Yun Ge, Zhiwei Gong, Niki Grandics, Adam Grinovich, Xin Guo, Rupai Han, Sophie Hangarth, Ann-Kathrin Hartel, Jing He, Nils Hint, Simone Hompel ten, Meiing Hsu, Jun Hu, Shifa Hu, David Huycke, Meiri Ishida, Koen Jacobs, Xuezhi Ji, Chengyu Jiang, Xueling Jin, Junwon Jung, Lauren Kalman, Jiro Kamata, Yeonmi Kang, Heejoo Kim, Young-I Kim, Panjapol Kulpapangkorn, Seulgi Kwon, Heng Lee, Seulki Lee, Helena Lehtinen, Linlin Lei, Danqing Li, Shanshan Li, Tianqing Li, Yinliang Li, Yiping Li, Yunxuan Li, Zifeng Li, Xiao Liang, Enying Lin, Xiao Liu, Urmas Lüüs, Suska Mackert, Lilian Mattuschka, Jasmin Matzakow, Mei Meng, Carla Movia, Eija Mustonen, Kadri Mälk, Chequita Nahar, Xianou Ni, Evert Nijland, Zijun Ning, Ted Noten, Lumy Nouguez, Pavel Opocensky, Seth Papac, Liling Peng, Yiwen Peng, Ruudt Peters, Annika Pettersson, Karen Pontoppidan, Suzanne Pugh, Haiming Ren, Estela Saez, Nina Sajet, Juliane Schölß, Sondra Sherman, Jun Shi, Robert Smit, Nadja Soloviev, Deganit Stern Schocken, Zhongge Sui, Jie Sun, Jieyi Sun, Xiangxiang Sun, Yiping Sun, Tore Svensson, Anneleen Swillen, Fumiki Taguchi, Edu Tarin, Terhi Tolvanen, Vivi Touloumidi, Fabrizio Tridenti, Yiumsiri Vantanapindu, Frank Verkade, Kezhen Wang, Qi Wang, Qiong Wang, Taidi Wang, Xiaojia Wang, Xiaoxin Wang, Zhenghong Wang, Chumeng Weng, Mian Wu, Renjie Wu, Jun Xie, Binglei Xu, Chenqian Xu, Jiaying Xu, Jing Xu, Congcong Yan, Zhao Yang, Xiaoyou Ying, Tala Yuan, Shuang Yue, Christoph Zellweger, Xihan Zhai, Chenzhi Zhang, Fan Zhang, Kun Zhang, Yi Zhang, Yunting Zhang, Zaozao Zhang, Zhaodan Zhang, Zhi Zhang, Yanmin Zhao, Yi Zhao, Hanqi Zheng, Hengfeng Zhou, Mingming Zhou, Ruoxue Zhou, Zhuohan Zhou, Aiyu Zhu, Yijie Zhu, Weiyang Zhuo

About the Contributing Writer

Ilaria Ruggiero is a cultural manager and curator working in the field of contemporary art. She is the founder of Adornment - Curating Contemporary Art Jewelry, a curatorial integrated project dedicated to contemporary art jewelry. It aims to develop the knowledge and consciousness of contemporary jewelry as artistic discipline and as ground search for technique, aesthetics, and philosophy.



Rebecca van Rooijen


{{'2018-11-23T21:20:02.1801183+00:00' | utcToLocalDate }}
comments powered by Disqus