One of the coolest things about running a gallery is discovering new talent – or in this case, introducing a new strand of work by an artist already well-known for her amazing jewelry, Regina Chang.
Regina is one of the most interesting and cosmopolitan people I know; she was raised in New York, London, Tokyo and Hong Kong; did a stint in the Los Angeles film industry; knows the finer points of gastronomy, and travels regularly to places I’ve never heard of. Oh yeah, and she was also recognized as “Best Jeweler in Seattle” by Seattle Magazine.
Though her fabulous, one-off gem creations can be seen under glass in Hong Kong, Seattle and L.A., Regina is so low-key and borderline secretive about her sculpture, that I had to coax her into sharing one for the Moss + Mineral inaugural show. Hot damn, I’m so glad she did!
“What draws me to sculpture (and also a reason I rarely share this art form) is that the pieces I construct never materialize as the art I’d envisioned, though the physical process is exactly as I’d imagined,” she explains. With a piece of jewelry, function at least marginally drives the design process; with sculpture there is no map. “I know what I intend, and ostensibly I know how to achieve that intention. It is only wire, after all. Yet still, what I end up with startles me.”
Unbound by ho-hum dictums of wearability, the Seattle-based artist busted loose with a 5′-long, shadow-casting sculpture with a sweeping backbone of driftwood. “I made ‘Staghorn Fern’ as a skeletal representation of the mid-mod aesthetic in the days of pared-down design,” she says. And, perhaps, as a homage to “the hippy summer of love.” Crowned by finger-like fern lobes, and soft scallops of leather trussed with bright thread, all draped with strands of “lichen”, the piece is a tactile stunner, made from elements taken from the jewel box of Mother Nature, herself. ~ Lisa Kinoshita
Meet Regina Chang at the opening of “Northwest Dissonance”, the inaugural show at Moss + Mineral also featuring Kristin Giordano, Malcolm McLaren, Janette Ryan, Jennifer Adams, and Lisa Kinoshita. Grand opening Nov. 2-3, 11:00-5:00pm, at 305 S. 9th St. in Tacoma. http://www.mossandmineral.com