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Acclaimed British Taiwanese artist and Jerwood Contemporary Makers Prize winner 2010, Chien-Wei Chang joined the Design Crafts BA (Hons) students to deliver a one day metalsmithing masterclass workshop at De Montfort University. This project is supported by the national craft initiative the shape of things in partnership with Leicester Arts & Museums Service.
Chien-Wei presented a chronological analysis of his work and career path offering a very honest and realistic view of how a contemporary maker survives financially in this climate whilst retaining artistic integrity to his work.
He has a modern, social and political message embedded in his work; exploring his cultural heritage through the ideas and materials used. For Chien-Wei the making process becomes a ritual and the processes and techniques used are valued as much as the final outcome.
The masterclass provided the opportunity for the students to experience the techniques and processes Chien-Wei uses in his work. Chien-Wei wanted to emphasise the importance of creativity, encourage students to practise with efficiency, understand the quality of finish and build a positive attitude to making.
Their task was to create individual cylindrical ‘treasure’ boxes exploring the combination and relationship of made and found objects reminiscent of his latest body of work. A week later the students visited Chien-Wei during the install of his exhibition at New Walk Museum & Art Gallery to present their finished boxes for discussion and analysis.
The students were also invited to volunteer during the installation process of the exhibition. Working with and guided by Chien-Wei, they were able to handle the pieces and place them in positions to contribute to the overall installation.
Chien-Wei Chang is a committed craftsman, with a tenacious attitude that is fuelled by a passion for his craft. He is willing to share his practise and experience with those on the creative path and this masterclass allowed him to do just that. Thank you to all of those students who participated.
Chien-Wei Chang said "It has
been a wonderful experience to work with students here! Each student has to
finish one piece in a very relatively short time I can see the potential and
fresh idea start developing and growing. It is a privilege to witness this and
be part of the process."
DMU Design Crafts student Sue Oldman said “I really enjoyed the master
class, Chien-Wei was refreshingly passionate about his work and it was
interesting to hear about his cultural background and how it influences
his work. It was great to watch him work and demonstrate the different
processes and techniques required to make the cylindrical box. A really
The masterclass took place as part of the activities to complement the Chien-Wei Chang exhibition at New Walk Museum & Art Gallery, Leicester:
Find out more about the 3D Design Crafts course at De Montfort University.
Sound & Video Production: Lisa Kelly & Stuart Simpson. 2012.