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Continuing to expand its cultural universe, Jaeger-LeCoultre announces the latest instalment in its Made of Makers programme: a new collaboration with the Korean digital media artist Yiyun Kang.


Expanding the Dialogue Between Watchmaking and the Arts

Through a series of collaborations with artists, designers and craftsmen from disciplines outside watchmaking, Made of Makers explores and extends the dialogue that naturally exists between horology and art. The programme focuses on artists who share Jaeger-LeCoultre’s values of creativity, expertise and precision, with nature at its core, exploring new forms of artistic expression through different and often unexpected materials and media. Like the watchmakers of La Grande Maison, these artists and innovators have a deep respect for the past as their creative foundation and a springboard for their trailblazing work. In 2023, Jaeger-LeCoultre further explores the world of contemporary art with an unexpected new collaboration.

A Unique Artistic Vision Expressed Through Exceptional Technological Skill

Recognised for her immersive audio-visual installations that recast space with moving image and sound, Yiyun Kang is one of the most active and talented Korean digital media artists in today’s international art scene, as well as a highly respected teacher and researcher.

In both her art practice and her research, Yiyun Kang is exploring the intersection of art, technology, and experience to investigate what she describes as “the in-between – between the finite and infinite, reality and unreality, surface and depth, absence and presence”. Valuing art as a medium for communication, she invites us, through her work, to contemplate where the boundaries are and what those boundaries mean – for humanity and the important questions that we face in today’s world.

Through the relatively new art form of projection-mapping, Yiyun Kang’s works play with the symbiotic relationship between moving images, narrative, and space beyond the conventional screen. From relatively small-scale works created for indoor environments to very large site-specific works created for public outdoor spaces, these immersive environments involve the viewers as participants, taking them into another dimension; the effect is awe-inspiring, and occasionally disconcerting as the sense of space, dimension and time is dissolved and re-formed. Fractal geometries move and flow in a way that seems almost organic, lending a grace and fluidity to each work that makes it seem effortlessly natural. However, as with watchmaking, the beauty of the work is underpinned by intellectual rigour, complex mathematical calculations and extreme precision.

A 3D-Video Sculpture Inspired by The Golden Ratio

For each Made of Makers collaboration, Jaeger-LeCoultre commissions an original work, inviting the artist to express a theme of interest to the Maison in a new way, through their particular craft. To better understand what the 2023 theme of the Golden Ratio means to Jaeger-LeCoultre, Yiyun Kang spent time at the Manufacture in the Vallée de Joux, gaining a deeper understanding of the Maison’s home, its values and the process of watchmaking.

“It was fascinating to see how the Reverso was made at the Manufacture. As an artist who works at the intersection of creativity and technology, I found it very interesting that the original design of Reverso was driven instinctively by the Golden Ratio, and I sought out scientific research that could explain why humanity has been drawn to the concept for so many centuries,” says the artist. “Jaeger-LeCoultre inspired me to explore, to draw a continuous line from the natural world into my digital space.”

This became the starting point for the newly commissioned work, titled Origin. Presented in a very large three-dimensional screen that has been purpose-built for installation in public spaces, Origin is a tribute to the ubiquity of the Golden ratio in the world around us. Through its narrative, it builds a parallel between the symmetry in nature and the geometry of Art Deco design.

“There are astounding examples from nature that literally represent the Phi number, the Golden Ratio, in their organisms,” Yiyun Kang observes. “Perhaps we are attracted to it because it identifies the origin of life – not just an aesthetic pattern, but an anchor for evolution. Seen in this light, the meaning of Golden Ratio becomes even more significant for us now that we are living in an Anthropocene age.”

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