So Young Park's contemporary jewelry forms and theory are inspired from her thesis, Nativity and memories from her childhood. She grew up near the ocean in southern part South Korea. So Young used to play with sea life and plants and collected many different kinds of shells and pebbles. She loved touching and observing the surface texture and pattern of shells and various naturally shaped pebbles during her happy childhood.
As So Young grew, she had several tragic experiences involving the death of her friends. She suffered a long time and her view of life and death dramatically grew different from many other people. Through her thesis works, she found that human life and plant life have similar growth and life characteristics. From an atheistic point view, nature reveals the beauty of the eternal cycles of life, like how rebirth transcends the tragedy of death. In order to bear fruit, plants must progress through many stages of life. During this process different parts of the plants body are required to be sacrificed for the fruit. However, this sacrifice does not signify the end of life, but gives birth to new life. In doing so, this process creates the eternal cycle of life. Her thesis pieces express desire, hope, and the power of life through organic plant forms, that are artistically rendered in a simplistic, geometric, and sophisticated manner.
Her jewelry art forms are assembled through the harmonic use of wires, tiny discs, engraved patterns, and textures forged of gold or silver, creating elegant, yet unusual visual forms. The use of wires, small discs, textures, and other small elements represent the single cells that makeup all life. Each piece contributes to long and painful process to create a beautiful and unusual art forms.
Oxidized silver, 24k gold leaf