Dezeen Magazine

The Beauty of Nothingness by Nicolas Cheng

Stockholm designer Nicolas Cheng has designed a range of brooches made from bits of loofah, sponge and cotton.

Called The Beauty of Nothingness, the collection consists of 15 pieces made of materials generally used for bathing, such as natural sponge, sisal fibre, loofah and cotton, stitched together in different compositions.

The project will be exhibited at Konstfack University College of Arts, Crafts and Design in Stockholm from 20 - 30 May and in Galerie Rob Koudijs, Amsterdam from 5 June - 3 July.

More about Nicolas Cheng on Dezeen:

Printable Offerings (March 2008)
Childhood Memories (March 2009)

Here's some more information from the designer:

A collection of 15 pieces of jewellery explored with different sensitivity and insight and which is culminating in a coherent body of work. The pieces exists in a gray zone somewhere between nothingness and purity. Each piece, challenging us through the beauty itself but also through the strangeness of the pieces.

What does nothingness mean? It is void, silence, unpretentious modest, poetry, virtually invisible. If I relate beauty to nothingness, what happens? Is nothingness sort of an absence of beauty? Or it is portrayed by our culture and society, and, in such case, can I define this absence of beauty? Is it beauty that you cannot even catch? Is its appearance neutral, almost hidden?

With my work, I’m trying to reach a new definition of beauty and to understand what unpretentious beauty is and reach its value. My pieces, when being placed on the body, show a nakedness of what
human intrinsic beauty is without hiding it. They stimulate our own reflection, also questioning how our emotions are reflected by the society.

Materials I work with are natural materials such as natural sponge, sisal fibre, loofah and cotton for cleaning up our body. Such materials absorb all our human dirt. But what is this human dirt? What makes it dirty? We don’t necessarily perceive our own dirt as disgusting, whereas, in the clash with the other, we automatically are ashamed of it. Same way, we tend to regard the other’s dirt as disgusting, not our own, very private dirt.

In the society we live in exist many difficulties when it comes to find an identity as humans and a position in it. When I refer to a beauty of nothingness, I suppose it is something I see or feel, but about which I keep wondering whether it is or it is not beauty. Such unevokable sensation of beauty is extremely subtle, hard to acknowledge: one needs to train ones eyes and go beyond the layers,
to discover the beauty of nothingness.

The project will be exhibiting in Konstfack, spring exhibition in Stockholm (20/05/ - 30/05/2010) and Galerie Rob Koudijs in Amsterdam (05/06/ - 03/07/2010)

See also:


Jewellery and objects by
Kelly McCallum
Jewellery by Helga Mogensen and Berglind Gunnarsdóttir Brooches by
Yurina Kira