Julie & Jesse
Established in Hong Kong and Jingdezhen, Julie & Jesse is the creative partnership of designer Julie Progin (CH) and artist Jesse Mc Lin (US).
The duo’s practice stretches across the fields of design, craft, and art, blending research and material experimentation into the making of innovative porcelain objects and installations.
Training in art and different disciplines of design allows them to bridge conceptual and emotional narratives with meticulous making technique.
Julie & Jesse’s work manifests research into materials and follows a consistent conceptual path to capture a moment in time and place.
They embrace a unique approach to each project, inspired by its cultural, historic, and economic context as well as resources available at hand.
Each work manifests the duo’s constant process of reinvention.
From capturing the movement of clay during firing to archiving the break and decay of distressed production moulds the key attributes of their work are time, context, and transformation.
Julie & Jesse’s works have been shown at institutions such as M+ Museum, Design Society, the Triennale Di Milano & Chicago Design Museum. Their works are held in private and corporate collections as well as public permanent collections at the China Ceramic Museum in Jingdezhen, China, M+ Museum for Visual Culture, Hong Kong, and the K11 Art Foundation. They also work in close collaboration with international design companies such as COS to create unique installations.
About the work
Erosion is a project that chronicles the permeation of water and nature into discarded plaster moulds that Julie & Jesse collected over the course of several months from tea ware factories in Jingdezhen.
After accumulating moulds in numbers that would allow them to mass-produce, the duo setup a factory to manufacture libraries of unique porcelain vessels. Casting porcelain slip into the moulds reshaped by nature, the duo was able to record direct impressions of the traces left by erosion.
The making process permanently captures the passing of time and place into the pieces and explores the interaction between the natural and material world. Each cast exists as a memory of a moment where Julie & Jesse interrupted the erosion of the mould. The vessels are a manifestation of the invisible. They are a display of a natural occurrence and deliver an aesthetic breaking away from the archetypes of Jingdezhen with their idealised visions of nature.
As well as rethinking the process of design, Erosion explores the reversing of the concept of serial production.
Julie & Jesse turn imperfections into beauty and mass-manufacturing of the same pieces into mass-production of individuals that keep changing and evolving as the moulds undergo further degradation until they cease to function.