Lacquer and jewel artist Chae Rim dazzles at Artexpo 2018

Chae Rim’s artwork draws you in to incredible jewel-tone lacquer colors on wood enhanced with mother-of-pearl jewelry designs adhered to the wood with silver prongs. The 2017 Artexpo Solo Award Winner, Chae trained as a jewelry designer before she became a lacquer artist. She employs a team to build the intricate jeweled creations, which comprise a mix of vibrant yellows, greens and blues. She confirmed that Claude Monet is an influence, as evident by the some of the abstract patterns influenced by nature. “When winter ends, when spring comes” has a distinct emerald green bamboo pattern, whereas the more abstract “Whisper of trees” evokes a softer feel.

Chae’s Walking in the Forest series was showcased in the Artexpo’s front lobby, occupying an entire wall in stark blue-grays enhanced with creamy mother-of-pearl blossoms, and silver tree trunks and branches. Unlike her other pieces, the lacquer on wood was painted very simply in stormy navy and grays.  The jeweled pieces played a more prominent role shaping the trees.

Soothing to the eye, an turquoise and emerald piece titled “Blue Fog” can be hung horizontally or vertically, depending on your preference. Evocative of the ocean, the Sky, Sea, and Poems series is enhanced with gemstones embedded into silver. Chae could have easily gone overboard by adhering the jeweled pieces onto her carefully painted backdrops, but instead they are placed to enhance the backdrop or, in some pieces from Sky, Sea, and Poems, clustered into a horizontal line separating the beautifully blended colors and/or enhancing more complex patterns.

Photos: Chae Rim – Artexpo New York 2018
all photos by Megan Lee / Meniscus Magazine