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Sheffield Hallam University
Degree Show 2020

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Xuewen Yao
Justice Design
Mask of the Justice Goddess by Xuewen Yao
Xuewen Yao
Justice Design

“If the Goddess of Justice is not blindfolded, will her judgement still fair? If Adam and Eve didn’t eat the apple of Eden, would you want it? If the government give us the gavel, will we really know how to use it properly? And where is the boundary between justice and freedom?”

Xuewen Yao’s collection, Justice Design, explores the existence and value of justice, through an examination of its representation and the impact this has on our identity, seeing its power and validity as drawn from this – yet also subject to this

“If functional law cannot evoke our sense of identity, then what does justice rely on to demonstrate its power? The conflict between justice and freedom is especially obvious in modern society. Any judicial case involving rights and morality can lead to public inappropriate comments or physical conflicts. extreme groups will move towards tyranny”.

Shanghai-based Yao sees jewellery and installation as an expressive medium, integrated within the field of contemporary art. Her works explore economic, medical, judicial themes, using non-traditional materials poetically to reflect the contradictions and dislocations existing in society.

“I sit on a park bench, watching the birds eating breadcrumbs, or looking up to watch them flying in the sky. Their wings look gorgeous in the sunshine. It is feathers that give them the ability to fly freely. And I sometimes meet another scene, mud and blood covered wings, leaving broken and crushed feathers. It’s a sign of death, the other extreme of freedom. What will happen to democracy out of control? The white feather texture looks beautiful and holy, but it is also easily broken and polluted. I cut the white feathers and seal them into the resin. Translucent resin is hazy, creating a peaceful world in which feathers representing freedom are imprisoned, and any anxiety, anger, corruption are forbidden. The metal variant seeds hidden in the jewellery contain both the richness and the darkness of life. All the seeds look quiet, waiting for a moment or someone to come and arouse them from deep sleep”.

Mask of Justice Goddess
Mask of Justice Goddess
Mask detail. Feathers, resin, brass
Mask of Justice Goddess
Mask of Justice Goddess
Apple from Eden
Apple from Eden
Necklace. Feather,resin,brass
Apple from Eden
Apple from Eden
Apple from Eden
Apple from Eden
Detail
Justice Gavel
Justice Gavel
Installation. Feathers, resin, brass
Justice Gavel
Justice Gavel