Sunday, July 7, 2024

Cartier Exhibition Showcases Vintage Jewelry, Timepieces in Seoul

Visitors are flocking to catch last-minute glimpses of the high-end jewelry and timepieces on display at Dongdaemun Design Plaza (DDP) in central Seoul during the final days of the “Cartier, Crystallization of Time” exhibition. Since its opening on May 1, the exhibition has sold over 90,000 tickets.

Marking Cartier’s first showcase in Korea in 16 years, the exhibition highlights the enduring beauty of its jewelry and the demanding techniques used over the years. The grandiose display features over 300 antique art pieces dating back to the 1970s and educates visitors on Cartier’s varied materials and craftsmanship.

The retrospective on the French luxury conglomerate’s vintage collection garnered significant attention even before its opening, with 24,000 early bird tickets sold. It has consistently ranked highly in Interpark Ticket’s exhibition category.

Organized by the JoongAng Ilbo, an affiliate of the Korea JoongAng Daily, and the Seoul Design Foundation, the exhibition was curated by the New Material Research Laboratory. The Japanese architecture studio designed the venue using natural materials like stones and wood to create a closer connection to nature.

Onjium, a Korean cultural heritage research institute, contributed a Korean reinterpretation by incorporating ra, a traditional sheer fabric gauze. On Friday and Saturday, Onjium is holding workshops at the DDP where visitors can make envelopes from ra. Each session starts at 10 a.m. and lasts about 90 minutes. More information is available on the exhibition’s website.

Experts have praised “Cartier, Crystallization of Time” as an intricate representation of the conglomerate’s philosophy and craftsmanship. Yoon Sung-won, a gemology professor at Hanyang University, noted that the exhibition diverged from the usual chronological format, opting instead for a unique thematic approach.

The Cartier Collection, consisting of vintage jewelry, timepieces, and objects created between 1860 and the late 20th century, is showcased in the exhibition. Cartier acquired these pieces through auctions and other routes to display them globally.

Given that many of these pieces are rarely shown to the public, the exhibition catalog has been popular, with more than 1,000 copies sold.

“Cartier, Crystallization of Time” runs until June 30. The DDP is open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday and Sunday, with extended hours until 9 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. Tickets are 18,000 won ($13) for adults, with a 50 percent discount available on Interpark Ticket until the last day.

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