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©Arijian
©Arijian
©Arijian
©Arijian
©Arijian

Jian Yoo

  • Arijan
  • Mother-of-pearl worker
  • Namyangju-si, South Korea
  • Master Artisan
Jian Yoo Mother-of-pearl worker
©Arijian

Modern mother-of-pearl

  • • Jian treats mother-of-pearl as an artistic material
  • • She develops traditional techniques into modern designs
  • • She creates small objects to pieces of furniture

Jian Yoo was born and raised in Seoul and went on to study Interior Design at Pratt Institute in New York. She currently lives and works between Korea and the United States. While studying in New York in her twenties, she took time to ponder on what she should specialise in, and settled on mother-of-pearl. She already had an affinity for the material as her father had been a master. After returning to Korea in 2013, she set to work on being a pioneer for the modern mother-of-pearl craft by creating her own brand, labelled Arijian. With a contemporary approach, Jian sees mother-of-pearl as an artistic material rather than as a historical material. She attributes meaning to her chosen material through the pieces she creates.

Read the full interview

Works

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Photo: ©All rights reserved
Blissful Waves

This stool is created using the traditional technique called Kkeunh Eum Jil in which mother-of-pearl is cut thinly like a thread and pasted by pressing with the tip of a knife. The flow of the waves was expressed using the blue mother-of-pearl colour.

Length 60 cm
Width 54 cm
Height 41 cm

Photo: ©All rights reserved
Rose Peacock

This elegant bar cabinet is embellished with a single peacock made using various techniques of mother-of-pearl. Many colours of mother-of-pearl such as white, blue and red are used on the rose quartz background, and gold metal legs accentuate the splendour of the peacock.

Length 95 cm
Width 42 cm
Height 150 cm

Photo: ©All rights reserved
Blue 111

This moon jar is made by cutting the blue mother-of-pearl into thin slices and attaching them one by one using the Kkeunh Eum Jil technique. An abstract blue wave reflected in the moonlight wraps around the jar and flows in a curved line.

Diameter 104 cm

Photo: ©All rights reserved
White 50

This moon jar is decorated with numerous pieces of golden white mother-of-pearl in a mosaic technique. The textures are created by beating each piece by hand. The light emitted by white and gold is like the lustre of the moonlight reflected in the sea.

Diameter 46 cm

Photo: ©All rights reserved
Hydrangea 01

The original traditional Korean double-story cabinet is reinvented using the Ta Bal technique which is the technique of cutting and pasting the small pieces of mother-of-pearl with a knife. The coveted hydrangea flower symbolizes happiness and sincerity.

Length 89.5 cm
Width 44 cm
Height 136.5 cm

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