London 2012 Paralympic Games Medals
Lin Cheung is a jewellery artist, designer and senior lecturer at Central Saint Martins. She trained at the Royal College of Art and lives and works in the UK.
Her approach to designing and making questions the established and authorised uses and meanings of jewellery and objects. Her work is a personal response to everyday experiences and observations.
Lin works independently and collaboratively on private and public commissions, personal research projects and design projects. She has won several awards for her work and exhibits internationally in major museums and galleries.
Pinpoint 2014 Gicleé print
Exhibited as part of Finding A Central Saint Martins BA Jewellery Design project at The Foundling Museum in London
– ❧ –
I have become obsessed with the smallest of details: the pin that holds a textile token onto each page of the billets that documented the admission of every child. The pin is witness to a small but poignant intervention, performed by the departing mother as she pins a token to her baby’s clothing followed by the Foundling Hospital diligently attaching each textile token onto a billet page as a means of identifying the child with its mother. Small, unassuming and ordinary, the pin is crucial in maintaining identity, belonging, cataloguing and recording what would become the child’s past as he or she assumes a new life.
My creative response has been an emotional one, playing with notions of permanence and impermanence, commitment and abandonment and emotional attachment and loss. Whilst the act of pinning is secure, it can be easily undone – temporary – it makes me think of the mother leaving a last, hopeful gesture for her baby that one day, she may claim back her child.
The vast majority of foundlings were never reunited with their parents. Inspired by their stories, I have tattooed a small pin on my body – a pin that cannot be undone.
Foundling 11146, a boy admitted 10 January 1759 © Coram
Paper and an elastic band 2016
Brooch, carved Recon stone, gold, elastic band
Kitchen Paper 2016
Brooch, carved Recon stone, gold
Corner of a Plastic Bag 2016
Brooch, carved rock crystal, gold
Keep is a wry look at how I store and protect my own jewellery.
Unceremoniously tucked in corners of plastic grip seal bags, wrapped like a slice of cake in kitchen paper, scrunched up in a tissue, folded in a handkerchief or secured with paper and an elastic band are just some of the ways the jewellery I own and wear is stashed and stowed.
Take Care 2008
Gloves, Goddard's silver polishing cloths, cotton, silk, gold, pearls
Friend or Foe?
Friend or Foe? 1998
Necklace, PVC, silver
Keep - Old Pearl Necklace
Keep - Old Pearl Necklace 2018
Pendant, carved rock crystal, nylon cord
Wedding Rings for the Average Man and Woman (UK Size)
Wedding Rings for the Average Man and Woman (UK Size) 2011
Cast aluminium finger sizer, gold
Brooch pins, Swarovski Crystal pearls, gold
Sugar Cube 2009, silver
Rope of Pearls
Rope of Pearls
Carved freshwater pearls, heat shrink tubing
There is a special vocabulary used to describe the length of pearl necklaces. While most other necklaces are simply referred to by their physical measurement, pearl necklaces are named by how low they hang on the body when worn around the neck. A ‘Rope’ is 45 inches (114.3cm) or longer and is the longest of six different strand lengths in pearl jewellery. Notches along the piece reference the remaining five strand lengths to elaborate the rope metaphor such as ‘Collar’, ‘Choker’, ‘Princess’, ‘Matinee’ and ‘Opera’.
The origins of these names are uncertain though they allude to a certain class of society and perhaps indicate a standard of dress and social standing. The grand sounding names may well have been a commercial ploy used to sell aspirations and indicate the higher value of longer lengths. I am fascinated by how jewellery is often bound up with rigid social structures and the humorous potential of jewellery to cause no-nos and faux pas.
Rope is often measured but never a measure in itself so this piece is designed and made to measure the length of pearl necklaces, to check you are indeed conforming to norms.