These works use sound as a way of conveying perspectives and presenting a culture. Diasporic Jewel gives voice to Chinese diasporic identity through the use of found objects that reflect familiar cultural memories. As the components of the deconstructed oiled paper umbrella used in the works clatter with the movement of the body, the memory of a generation is recalled. The origins of the work relate to Haozhe Wang’s childhood, where a gourd was hung by the head of his bed when he had nightmares. This traditional Chinese custom of exorcism has become a part of his identity. The pieces seek to visualise the notion of diasporic identity by referring to a familiar Chinese custom.
Haozhe is an emerging designer who focuses on social issues such as the displacement of refugees, immigration and cultural difference. He believes that art and design have the power to bring attention to the importance of humanity, that we are all born with humanity and this is what enables us to recognise and accept others; to know who we are and that we all share the same joy and sadness. Alongside his design practice, Haozhe hopes to share his ideal of humanity and encourage our society to help each other. His jewellery practice is often related to his cultural background and he hopes to provoke a sense of belonging among the diasporic Chinese community.
Image: Haozhe Wang, Diasporic Jewels, 2019. Photo courtesy of the artist.