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tzu-ju chen pushes boundaries

Tzu-Ju Chen alters vintage photographs and a variety of Asian paper money that originally served as a “ceremonial offering of currency for the dead” to give her series, China – Silhouettes of Memory, the appearance of metal.  Chen, who has a Master of Fine Arts in Metalsmithing from Cranbook Academy of Art, forces us to look at materials from a different perspective as she pushes the boundaries of traditional techniques. 

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[private_archives]She utilizes unorthodox methods such as melting monofilament to bind the work and combines semi precious gems with non precious materials to create interesting, layered pieces that seem to dance across the viewer’s field of vision.


Phoenix, paper money, sterling silver, monofilament fishing line, lacquer, 3” x 20” x 1/2”



Dunhuang, necklace and detail of necklace
paper money, monofilament, peacock feathers, sterling silver, emerald faceted roundel beads,
28″ long


Phoenix, bracelet
paper money, coral, monofilament fishing line,
2.6 x 2.6 x 3.5


sterling silver, 18k yellow gold, silk and “Plique-a-Jour” enamel

Chen’s “Plique-a-Jour” enamel is downright luminous and the shape of this necklace makes it a visual treat. See more of her enamel work here.


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