A reflection upon cross cultural heritage, Jacqui Chan's Exotic Blend signifies her desire, as a contemporary jeweller, to embody the particular form of chinoiserie endemic to her New Zealand upbringing.
The artist notes that "growing up initially in bicultural Whakatane and later the homogenous Pakeha-dominant South Island, there was little reflection of our Chinese half in life outside our home. It was therefore somewhat natural that our sense of Chineseness became entwined with domestic objects. Rice pattern bowls, our Chinese teapot, painted fans, shitake mushrooms, and the mahjong set were day-to-day evidence of our cultural heritage and imagery with which to imagine China."
With this body of work Chan was drawn to tea tins for the symbolism they engender. The exotic imagery depicted in tea tins is, she observes, equally distant from modern China as it is from England. Cut up, pierced, folded and tricked into wearable brooch forms, the tea tin is reclaimed by the artist.
Jacqui Chan is a New Zealand artist. Trained as an architect and then a jeweller, she will be undertaking doctoral studies in Australia from 2009