Chunxiao Ye’s project focuses on the idea of a ‘shadow self’. In this day and age, too much emphasis is placed on the bright side of humanity – so much so that we ignore our own darkness. But this is not a truthful depiction of ourselves. Light cannot exist without darkness.
For this work, Ye made a preliminary study of Carl Jung’s ‘shadow self’ theory, observing and categorising negative human behaviours and their depictions in art. After studying various villainous images, Ye tested different and uncomfortable materials that could be used to make her jewellery. In the end, the material Ye chose was bird bones, in which the red resin pools to represent blood. Ye’s aim is to help people think about wider issues when they see the jewellery. Everyone has a dark side and only when we control and accept this dark side can we achieve a healthy mental state. Our dark thoughts can then become another kind of power to help us.