MAstars 2012: Panjapol Kulpapangkorn, MA Jewellery, Silversmithing & Related Products

MAstars 2012: Panjapol Kulpapangkorn, MA Jewellery, Silversmithing & Related Products Panjapol Kulpapangkorn, Jewellery Is At My Feet, 2012. Movable media, T-shirt found object and spy camera

Emma Daker selects Panjapol Kulpapangkorn from Birmingham Institute of Art & Design for MAstars

Walking into the exhibition it was difficult not to be immediately drawn to Panjapol Kulpapangkorn’s display. I was lured in by a film depicting assorted feet: walking on various surfaces, mixed with different landscapes projected alongside a large suspended banner with forty-four images of boxes in a variety of indoor locations with people’s names printed over them. Below the banner was another suspended sheet showing forty-eight small clear bags. Each bag had a 'Jewellery Is At My Feet' sticker, followed by a hand-written note, with seemingly random objects placed inside. There was also a table-top display with beautifully crafted mixed-media pieces.

The overall presentation inspires you to discover more; and there is so much more to know. I soon realised the work spans people, countries and even continents. Panjapol’s graduate display presents an holistic approach to questioning the meaning and boundaries of jewellery, what it is, what it can be and what it represents.

Panjapol divides his work into two parts, which he describes as 'Jewellery Is At My Feet' and 'Jewellery Is At my Feet, The Show Is Yours'. The first part Panjapol considers his own exploration of jewellery. To broaden his outlook, he travelled, recording his experiences through film, photographs, sound and by collecting objects. These mixed-media collections formed a catalogue of his memories. For Panjapol memory and jewellery are inextricably linked: ‘A memory can be defined in my view as a piece of jewellery that is still a part of me and with me all the time.’ As choice of jewellery reflects personality and experience, so does memory.

Panjapol has created tangible memories utilising found objects in a range of subtle white mixed-media necklaces and brooches, which incorporate film of his journeys. With these works Panjapol is challenging the viewer to consider what jewellery can be - the narrative power it can have to tell the story of experience and memory.

The second part of this project demonstrates Panjapol’s desire to share his concept with others, ‘…by launching a campaign and letting them discover their own jewellery, which is hidden in their lives.’ To do this he created Memory Kits, boxes consisting of a JIAMF T-shirt, badges and memory containers (the clear bags). Panjapol asked the kit recipients to record their lives through filming their footsteps and valued moments and collecting memory objects. They describe these items by writing on the sticker:

'Home, work, life, events, places that have made me – me!'

'A special gift, an unforgettable night out. A long journey home.'

Panjapol Kulpapangkorn Community Project

Panjapol Kulpapangkorn, Community Project, Jewellery Is At My Feet, The Show Is Yours, 2012. Mixed media

When the recipients had recorded their memories, they (forty-six participants in twelve countries) returned them to Panjapol and from their intimate responses he created personal ‘pieces of memory.’ Some of these jewellery items were displayed and can be seen on his website.

The results are attractive, considered works which are more accessible jewellery items. What’s fascinating about Panjapol’s work is that he shares his thinking and process through the means of display, but also challenges the viewer to think not only about their own memories but what jewellery can be and how it can communicate a narrative. The depth of his thinking and sheer reach of the project is very impressive. Panjapol’s skills across disciplines and interest in participatory work will sit well within the current contemporary craft sector.

Panjapol’s has documented this work on his website and on Facebook page.

Selected by Emma Daker
Published December, 2012

View Panjapol Kulpapangkorn's profile >

About Emma Daker

Emma Daker is currently Exhibitions and Project Development Manager for Craftspace, a leading crafts development organisation based in Birmingham. The organisation initiates creative and public engagement programmes which stimulate critical enquiry, thinking, curiosity and understanding of contemporary making. It does this through touring exhibitions, socially engaged creative interventions, participatory projects, action research and consultancy. Emma’s most recent project is Made in the Middle, an open exhibition of contemporary craft, developed in partnership with mac birmingham and the National Centre for Craft and Design, which is currently touring the country. Previously Emma was Contemporary Craft Curator at Bilston Craft Gallery in Wolverhampton. Emma also acts as Museum Mentor to the Lace Guild Museum in Stourbridge and is a member of Arts Council England, West Midland’s Regional Council.

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