Attachments - Malaysian Jade (2014)
Material : Readymade (Malaysian jade bangle, jewel box, price tag, certificate), pigment
Commissioned : DEPOT BASEL | space for contemporary design and CURRENT OBSESSION | contemporary jewellery magazine for the exhibition CRAFT & BLING BLING - FAKE | Link 1/ Link 2
Photography : Thomas Albdorf
If FAKE is an object, it is about pretending. FAKE can also be a non-object: it can be a fiction, a story that has never happened. Malaysian Jade is a combination of fake material and fiction: It first appeared in the 1980s at the border between China and Burma – a renowned market place for jade. The Malaysian Jade has a uniform-green colour and a translucent gloss, which is considered a sign for high quality. Indian and Pakistan businessmen used to sell it, claiming that this type of jade originated from Malaysia, while in fact, it is a dyed quartzite. Even today the so-called Natural Malaysian Jade is paradoxically advertised with the exact same strategy.
On the one hand, I am interested in how this fake description became a common term 30 years after the product’s appearance on the market, and how this is related to the disastrous, economical implications for the individual customers, who believed that they would invested in jade. On the other hand, I am interested in the particular colour of Malaysian Jade and researched its composition. For this project, I bought aMalaysian Jade bangle, which came with a jewellery box, a certificate containing wrong information and a fake price tag. I withdrew the green pigment with acid and extracted it into a solid substance. Afterwards I formed the extract into a small bump and placed it back onto the bangle, so that the original pigment component transformed into an exterior attachment. The price tag is still pinned to the bangle. It says 1880 RMB, which equals 218 Euros. I paid 8 Euros.