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Jonathan Yun Sculptural Jewelry

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Jonathan expresses his  love for Peranakan culture and  nature through his jewelry.  He grew up immersed in Peranakan culture when he visited his maternal grandmother. He also spent many afternoons playing with a primary school classmate whose grandma, also a Penang Nyonya, was always well put together and lived in a house filled with beautiful Straits Chinese furniture.

Also a certified divemaster as well as a fern collector, he  finds inspiration in nature. He looks under the sea for ideas to shape coral and fish creations using silver, colourful gemstones, gold, beads and leather straps for pendants.

He works mainly in silver, saying, It’s easy to work with and really syncs with what I do. When you are familiar with a metal, it becomes like putty in your hand. You know where it can go, where it can take you — like second nature. I’ve used silver from day one and continue to do so because I know what it can express best, what I can do with it and what it can give me.

He works from his studio where each piece of jewelry is painstakingly sculpted out in jewelers wax and then casted out in sterling silver. Then the piece is hand finished and polished to reflect its beauty.

Jonathan wants to inspire another generation of jewellers and maybe mentor them and create a fresh pool of artisans. “Malaysians don’t lack talent. It’s just that the arts are not prioritised and we don’t know how to harvest and harness the talent available.”

He also wants people to become more conscious and, thus, protective of nature. Once, he created a special piece for a multimedia exhibition called Langur: Building Bridge Between Our Worlds held at the Penang State Art Gallery. The piece was called “Your Home, My Home” and percentage of sales from the show went towards the preservation of the endangered creatures.

“It shows langurs frolicking in their habitat. My design rationale is, what goes around comes around: When we deplete the forest and encroach on their territory, they will come and bite us.”

Where You’ll Be

Meet Your Local

Jonathan Yun

A graduate of the RMIT Australia, majoring in fine metals, Jonathan has been pursuing his passion for jewelry for decades. He gathered experience working in Singapore, then Royal Selangor in KL as well as Penang Pewter and Franklin Mint in Penang (both now defunct) before he felt ready to strike out on his own.

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