SAM THO DUONG
Born in Bien Hoa in 1969 in Vietnam, Sam Tho Duong fled his country with all his family while he was only teenager. They found refuge in Germany and finally settled in Pforzheim, a town known as the epicenter of German jewellery industry, also called "the city of gold".
In 1992, he graduated from the Goldschmiedesschule in Pforzheim and followed a traditional apprenticeship at Wellendorff Gold-Creationen GmbH & Co. KG. He worked there until 1998, when he decided to continue his university studies. He graduated as a designer in 2002 from the Pforzheim Design University.
His outstanding works owed him immediate recognition. In 2009, he was awarded the prestigious Herbert Hoffman Award and was one of the finalists of the Loewe Craft Prize in 2018. In 2013, the Victoria and Albert Museum acquired one of the necklaces of his Frozen series.
The works of Sam Tho Duong are exhibited in numerous group and solo shows and part of many private and international public collections: the Qatar museums in Doha, the New York Museum of Arts and Design (MAD), the CODA-Museum in Apeldoorn (Netherlands), the German Goldsmiths House in Hanau (Germany), the Mint-Museum of Craft + Design (USA), the Schmuckmuseum in Pforzheim, the Bollmann Collection in Vienna (Austria).
My work is always very much influenced by the material I choose. In this case, I began collecting these little plastic yogurt drink containers. Of course, the look of white plastic is entirely different from more valuable materials. I became inspired by the form and material of the containers. Combining cheap, common plastic with precious stones and pearls elevated the plastic to a higher level.
lemitcA starts with a small ‘l’ and has a big ‘A’ at the end. If you read it backwards, it spells the brand name of the yogurt drink. The containers are manipulated through cutting, punching, and folding. An intricate yet straightforward system allows each part to be linked together to create diverse forms and shapes. The resulting pieces are both wearable jewelry and sculptural objects. The fact that a lemitcA necklace looks very much like the late medieval ruffs worn often by Dutch patricians is absolutely coincidental. -- excerpt from his itw by Susan Cummins for the AJF.