Michael Man Lin


Michael Man Lin is a final year Jewellery and Objects student taking inspiration from Japanese nature.

Jewellery and Objects - BA (Hons)

Give us a brief overview of your project

FU(NA)TURE is a Japanese-inspired collection and a continuation of the two art narrative jewellery/ objects that I created last year. My aim is to create a collection of everyday jewellery pieces to capture my vision of the future Wabi-Sabi. In which artificial material (especially eco-friendly/ biomaterial) can also be used as we will, if not already, reshape nature, so we shouldn’t limit ourselves to just using natural material when working with Wabi-Sabi, as far as the work is fitting other notions of Japanese aesthetics.

Why did you choose this concept?

I’m highly inspired by Japanese aesthetics. It not only affects the style of my work, but also the methodology I use in my design and making process. Interestingly, Japan has a much shorter jewellery history when compared to other parts of the world (despite they have a strong heritage of art and craft), as traditionally they only wear jewellery like hair combs instead of “typical” types of jewellery like rings. Thus, I believe that there are still a lot of potential for Japanese aesthetics to be utilised and developed in the jewellery field.

What processes have you been using?

The work combines a careful design and making process with an intuitive making process. After I decided the main direction of my design, I often let the materials and processes lead me through the rest of the making, in which the detail lies within the nature of the material when juxtaposed with their simple forms. I include processes, such as wax carving and casting, that allow a lot of random outcomes, making these pieces unique and offering people a chance to embrace the “imperfections” of the pieces.

What do you hope to achieve with your project?

Through this collection, I’m combining traditional Japanese aesthetic concepts with modern material usage. I hope to invite the viewers and users to utilise Japanese aesthetic concepts in a modern setting, providing them with opportunities to discover a perspective of beauty that is often neglected. Meanwhile, by sharing the universality of Japanese aesthetics and Jewellery, I hope that this will be a starting point for the users to demonstrate Japanese aesthetics in an interactive, effortless, and accessible manner.

How has your course helped you to prepare for working on your project?

My course offers me a chance to critically challenge the traditional concepts of jewellery making. It encourages me to create pieces that cross the boundaries between different jewellery sectors in response to my career's aim and interest. It also equipped me with many jewellery-making techniques, and even with techniques, such as making biomaterials, out of the syllabus, tutors and technicians can provide guidance for me to explore them.