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Sheffield Hallam University
Degree Show 2020

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Dorothy Lu
Life is a Box: What is inside?
Dorothy Lu
Life is a Box: What is inside?

“How to evaluate a box when its practical function of containing is suspended, and in what ways can a box carry invisible contents in the context of contemporary silversmithing ?”

 

Dorothy Lu‘s Life is a Box explores that most everyday of items – the box. Each of Lu’s boxes – The four container-like objects – explore through experiments with materials, textures and structures how the edges, walls and rules we construct around us limit our behaviour. She says “Life is always mysterious, you can never tell what is happening, just like you cannot see through a sealed box and know the content until it is opened”.

Boxes are seen as a normal, unremarkable objects. They are seen in different places, from neighbourhood shops to national museums, from an Emperor’s palace to a common peasant’s bungalow. They occur everywhere in almost all situations. According to Eric Delieb in the preface of his book Silver Boxes, Boxes are created to serve specific functions, but is that all?

This project ‘Life is a Box: What’s Inside’ aims to explores and examines how the invisible content is contained in a box and how it is presented, by not only the design and making, but interacting with the boxes in different stages of the project. Unlike many other creative works inspired by the classic line ‘My mom always said life was like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re gonna get’ in Forrest Gump, the project focuses more on the box than the chocolate.

Lu believes people’s lives can be compared to a conceptual box: with edges and walls of rules, limiting people’s behaviors, a box is abstractly similar to humans living space

The project was conducted in a careful manner with creative working sessions interwoven with research. Existing contemporary silversmithing was combined with creative ideas, in a series of continuous experiments with materials, textures and structures. Lu adopted synesthesia as a design method in the belief that it would enable the work to impart a deeper and more solid impression on audiences from different walks of life.

 

Little Monster
Container with a brooch as the lid. Sterling silver, silicone rubber, stainless steel, brass, 3D printed TPE. 4.7cm x 4.7cm x 6.5cm "We all need to learn to live with the little monster somewhere in our hearts, remember when grinding teeth with hatred, we are also biting ourselves."
Little Monster
Little Monster
Fear Box
Hand fabricated container. Patinated/silver plated Gilding metal, sterling silver, copper, 3D printed TPE, chocolate, 10.8cm x 9.5cm x 9.5cm "Looks like your long-hidden pain, touches like fear you would always choose to hide from, but once you open it, the reward may be surprising- even if there is no chocolate in it, you still win the battle against fear."
Sour Box
Container. Silver plated Gilding metal, PVC tube, acrylic, silicone rubber. 9.2cm x 9.2cm x 10.8cm. "You can see and feel the sour flavour of citrus fruits without peeling."
Sour Box
Sour Box
A Gift for You
Kinetic object. Gilding metal, brass, copper, stainless steel, 3D printed TPE. 8.5cm x 8.5cm x 10.5cm. "What will be the best gift for you? Open the box and you will get one of the perfect answers- but don’t tell others before they find out themselves."
A Gift for You