Zip necklace, 1951. Transformable into a bracelet. Yellow Gold, rose gold, rubies, diamonds. Van Cleef & Arpels Collection.

"Van Cleef & Arpels: Time, Nature, Love" exhibition
From November 18, 2023 to April 14, 2024
Seoul, Republic of Korea

D Museum

The “Van Cleef & Arpels: Time, Nature, Love” exhibition displays the universe of the High Jewelry Maison at the D Museum in Seoul, from November 18th, 2023 to April 14th, 2024. Over 300 jewelry creations, watches, precious objects and archives produced since the Maison was founded in 1906 are gathered for the occasion.

THE EXHIBITION

This rare selection is showcased in an immersive scenography conceived by international architect-designer Johanna Grawunder. Using neon colored light, she created a poetic and mysterious space adorned by a monumental transparent sculpture displayed in the love section. Together with Michał Batory, graphic designer, who created a special typography and produced a video for the occasion, they contributed to highlight the timeless style of the Maison.

 

The exhibition also reaffirms the Maison’s values – creation, transmission and education – through an extensive calendar that include talks with regional and international speakers, adults and children workshops as well as other immersive educational activities.

    Immersion in the scenography of the Seoul Time, Nature, Love exhibition. Van Cleef & Arpels © Yongjoon Choi

    Immersion in the scenography of the Seoul Time, Nature, Love exhibition. Van Cleef & Arpels © Yongjoon Choi

    Immersion in the scenography of the Seoul Time, Nature, Love exhibition. Van Cleef & Arpels © Immersion in the scenography of the Seoul Time, Nature, Love exhibition. Van Cleef & Arpels © Yongjoon Choi.

                                                                                                                                                                            

Curated by Alba Cappellieri, Head of Jewelry and Fashion Accessory at the Politecnico di Milano, the exhibition offers a journey across three sections: Time, Nature and Love.

 

"I consider Time, Nature and Love to be the most important and most representative values of life and consequently of the objects that accompany our daily lives." Alba Cappellieri

Time

The creative process is inextricably linked to time in its myriad facets. In addition to the one dedicated to producing them, Van Cleef & Arpels jewelry and precious objects are rooted in a specific age, a context that weaves subtle connections between Paris and the world, past and future, jewelry and other disciplines. In the center of this complex environment, the Maison has succeeded in building a distinctive and coherent style in constant evolution and a legacy of chemistry between creativity, innovation and timeless elegance.

 

To characterize the Van Cleef & Arpels universe, the exhibition is referring to the five values highlighted by Italo Calvino in Six Memos for the Next Millennium : Lightness, Quickness, Exactitude, Visibility and Multiplicity. To complete the experience, Alba Cappellieri alos added six values to reflect the DNA of the Maison: Paris, the Elsewhere and Intersections followed by Couture, Dance and Architecture. Each of the values is represented by a selection of pieces from the Maison.

The Zip necklace : Illustration of the Van Cleef & Arpels identity

The Zip necklace is one of the most avant-garde creations in the history of Van Cleef & Arpels, a masterpiece of ingenuity blended with spectacular modern design. 

First used for aviator jackets and sailor uniforms, the zipper appeared in high society fashion in the 1930s thanks to designers such as Elsa Schiaparelli. Thus inspired, Renée Puissant, the Maison's Artistic Director and daughter of co-founder Alfred Van Cleef, imagined turning this functional accessory into a piece of jewelry. Patented in 1938, but eventually produced in 1950, the Zip necklace has the remarkable ability to transform into a bracelet simply by sliding its tassel, as a real zipper would. Illustrating the influence of couture on Van Cleef & Arpels’ creative universe, this innovation also exemplifies the Maison’s penchant for transformable and multifunctional jewelry.

NATURE

As an important source of inspiration for both art and jewelry, Nature has endowed the Maison with an inexhaustible formal repertoire. Throughout its history, plants, flowers and animals have engendered an abundance of colors, patterns and materials, from precious gems to ornamental stones and organic materials. Today, inside the D Museum in Seoul, the Nature section calls to mind a stroll through a lush garden, enveloped in greenery and flowers in bloom, birds in flight and mischievous animals, all representative of the ever-evolving style of the Maison.

LOVE

A powerful energy, Love gave birth to the High Jewelry Maison: it was founded in 1906 following the wedding of Alfred Van Cleef and Estelle Arpels in Paris a few years before. More than 30 pieces such as clips, rings, bracelets, objects and more together with sketches and archival documents illustrate the full symbolic power of precious gifts.

CURATORS AND SCENOGRAPHY

Alba Cappellieri

Curator of the exhibition and Professor of Design of Jewelry and Fashion Accessories at the Politecnico di Milano, where she is the Director of the International Master in Fashion Accessories Design. She is a member of the Scientific Committee of L'ECOLE, School of Jewelry Arts in Paris and of the Fondazione Cologni in Milan. She curated several international jewelry exhibitions.

Johanna Grawunder

Designer/artist Johanna Grawunder works on a broad range of projects, from largescale public lighting and color installations, architectural interventions and interiors, to limited-edition furniture and light collections for Carpenters Workshop Gallery in US and Europe.

Michal Batory

Graphic designer Michał Batory works as an independent graphic designer since 1994. He is renowned in the cultural world for the imaginative and surprising posters, he creates for shows performed in international theatres and museums.

PRACTICAL INFORMATION

D Museum 

83-21, Wangsimni-ro, Seongdong-gu, Seoul, Korea


D Museum, Seoul

Opening hours

From November 18th, 2023 to April 14th, 2024

Tuesday – Thursday

From 11:00 am to 06:00 pm

Friday – Saturday 

From 11:00 am to 07:00 pm

Sunday 

From 11:00 am to 06:00 pm

(Closed on Mondays, except on April 1st and 8th, 2024)

Entrance fee

Adult (19 and over) 12,000 KRW

Youth (18 and under) Free

Child (36 months to age 12) Free


Audioguide

Plan your visit by listening to the audio guides on the website


Contributors

Exhibition curators

Alba Cappellieri

Professor of Jewelry Design at Milan Polytechnic University  

Nicolas Bos

President and CEO of Van Cleef & Arpels 

Scénography

Johanna Grawunder

Architect-designer

Michal Batory

Graphic-designer


Partner

Exhibition image