Modern Alchemy

Erfgoedhuis, Dutch Design Week 2017

Archaeology is not only about collecting evidence on the evolution of human culture throughout history and prehistory; more importantly, it inspires human curiosity and imagination through the recovery and analysis of past material culture. It holds the character of design ideas from ancient to modern time; ideas of problem-solving and an aesthetic of Man and Nature.

Modern Alchemy in collaboration with Erfgoedhuis Eindhoven (Heritage Centre Eindhoven) creates a bridge between a life of research and a life of day-to-day experiences through applying art and design performance on objects. We explore themes of the value of artefacts under the present form of society, the evolution of technology, post-industrial ways of making, a capitalist economic system, and an increasingly cosmopolitan mindset that is rapidly changing our lifestyles.

Together we picked seven archaeological finds previously discarded from the research process. Using information from the survey, excavation, and scientific analysis of these finds, those seen to be without value, we attempt to revive the objects and give them new life. The stories and information from the archaeologists are used to regenerate the lost value of these discarded objects through methods of craft making, both re-using previous narratives and introducing new ones.

We are tracing the path from the past and linking it to the now. Each object here has its own story and its meaning. For us, it’s the same as “us” as humans, having different life experiences. When you read these objects, like reading a book, you will find a rich context behind them, which contains a journey to places we have never been.

Erfgoedhuis Eindhoven

Lydia Chang, Yen An Chen

Pin Wen Chen, Yen An Chen

Special Thanks
Ahn Sung Whan, Alorah Harman, André Wiersma, Hsin Ming Chan, Hsuan Hui Lin, Huai Yuan Wang, Kuang Yi Ku, Mark Henning, Roxane Lahidji, Rob Johnson, Timothy Liu, YunTing Chou