108 Pieces Of Heart-Healing Plaster.
Although handcraft accessories may not be one of the mainstreams in Hong Kong, it is always lovely to have handcraft designer like Sally Chu in town. Her brooches are precious, unique and delicate; they can even heal a broken heart. Congratulations to her for the great success of her first solo exhibition “108 Pieces Of Heart-Healing Plaster”. Now she is still having fun making and experimenting different kind of handmade accessories. So today Sally will share her works and thoughts with us.
Please tell us about yourself.
I’m Sally Chu. I’ve been working in the advertising industry for 10 years. In the daytime, I’m a creative director. In the nighttime, I’m a handmade accessories designer. I enjoy using my spare time to create handmade accessories.
How did you start creating your handmade work? What inspired you to start making?
I think it was my France trip and SO-EN magazine. I’ve been to France for traveling few years ago. I fell in love with the place immediately. I was very much inspired by those lovely accessories that I found in France. So when I came back to Hong Kong, I started finding accessory parts in Sham Shui Po and tried to create my first handmade brooch with a piece of lace. Also, I’m a huge fan of SO-EN magazine. I love the style of SO-EN very much. It motivated and influenced me a lot both in my job as creative director or as handmade designer.
Do you have any background of making handmade accessories before?
Not really, I studied graphic design at the university. I remember I made a hand stitching fish for my final year project. Ever since I graduated, I haven’t created any handmade work. I’ve never had any stitching, knitting or sewing training before; I guess I just keep experimenting to create my pieces.
Please tell us about your first solo exhibition.
I was very happy to have my first solo show at Kapok in April. I exhibited 108 of my handmade brooches, which I made during these two and a half years. I presented them as art pieces with frames in the show.
What is the concept behind the exhibition? How did you come up with the concept?
I kept on making the brooches one by one and stopped making when I had 108 pieces in my hands. I wanted to share these pretty items with everyone, so I had a thought to have an exhibition and started to develop the concept. The concept behind this exhibition is that brooch is not just an accessory for the jacket; it can also be a bandage for our broken hearts. After the brooch heals your broken heart, you can put it back into your drawer.
What feedback did you get from the visitors?
Arnault from Kapok, my friends and other visitors in the exhibition were very supportive. They liked my brooches a lot and I sold a few pieces to some of the visitors. Many people were surprised that I’ve only been creating handmade pieces for only a couple of years.
Could you tell us about One Day Shop? How did it start? What kind of handmade products were sold in One Day Shop?
Fur Fur, Hanami, Happy Ending, Prettie Sillie and I are a group of handcraft lovers in Hong Kong. I know two of them through my blog and the other two through my job. Since “one day shop” has existed in Taiwan and Japan for quite a while, we thought it would be fun to hold a “one day shop” to sell our handmade creations together. Then we proposed this idea to Kapok. In One Day Shop, we sold accessories, tote bags, and even homemade lipsticks and jams. We had so much fun that day and it was very encouraging for us to see lots of people enjoy our works.
Sally Chu, One Day Shop
Since One Day Shop was a great success, do you all create work together as a unit after the show?
Our works all have different styles, so we don’t have a plan to create work together under the same unit at the moment. However, we surly influence each other’s work. When I see their beautiful pieces, it would motivate me to keep creating.
Sally Chu, One Day Shop
What do you think of the current design scene and handmade art scene in Hong Kong?
I feel like the acceptance of creativity in Taiwan, Japan or Thailand is way more open-minded than in Hong Kong. That’s why the designers in Hong Kong find it harder to make creative designs, because of these creative restrictions in the market. As for the handmade market, I think most of the Hong Kong people are brand-oriented; people won’t pay much attention to our handmade works, because they aren’t from the big brands. Plus, there are only a small number of artists like me doing this kind of handcraft, so it’s difficult to be heard in the market. However, I do think One Day Shop is a pretty good start.
So tell me about what are you working on currently?
I keep making handmade accessories. At the same time, I’m making a set of accessories for my next show. The collection is inspired by the bad weather this June. The accessories will all be in black color.
Last but not least, who are your design heroes?
Dick Bruna, Alles Ekstase and Tsumori Chisato.
Text: Justin Tsui