Kun Zhang is a contemporary jewellery artist living and working in Germany. She wanted to step out from her native environment to look at the Chinese culture from a distance. In her work she gives traditional Chinese ornaments a contemporary twist, as a reminder of the old classic China and as a revival of the forgotten customs.
Do you need to be a rebel to enjoy your work?
I always need to be an amnesiac. When I finish one series, I usually realise immediately which part of the work is not satisfying. And after that I will forget the works and keep creating new ones. So I think I don’t need to be a rebel, I just need to be an amnesiac. It makes me more brave to face my works.
Do you use your own pieces?
Yes. Whenever I need something, I will just make it and use it.
Do you think dishware can still be improved? If yes, in what way?
Yes of course, I will think about it even more next time when I decide to make dishware. It’s a question for the future.
What was the inspiration for your Steinbeisser series?
First is the function, the pieces can be used for two servings. Second, eating time is a time of joy. I was trying to use the free forms to stretch the time of joy. The wood always makes me peaceful. Therefore I think wood is a nice material to use for plates.
Describe your work in 3 words!
Slow. Slow. Stretch.
What kind of materials do you use and where do you get them from?
A kind of wood called acacia. I received it from a friend and I have kept it ever since because I didn’t know what to do with it. Making plates was a good and interesting chance.
What are you working on right now?
I keep on exploring new forms and shapes.
What excites you about tomorrow?
Actually i don’t think so much about tomorrow nor the future.
What has been your favourite dinner experience?
Eating with a friend in a Japanese restaurant. The food and the conversation were a perfect match. Just happy.
What further ambitions do you have?
Just keep doing what I am doing now.