Contemporary artist Yijia He exhibits a profound interest in various forms of interpersonal relationships. Yija uses motifs commonly used in lover's eye jewellery from the 19th century during the Victorian era as a primary element to explore three different and distinct types of modern relationships in contemporary life. Through her creations of contemporary ‘lover's eye’ jewellery, Yija explores three themes: crushes, celebrity obsessions, and narcissistic self-love
In the current era of technological advancements, the prevalence of dating apps has led people to have less time for long-lasting and mutually committed relationships, resulting in a tendency to easily fall into transient infatuations (crushes). Thus, Yijia He deconstructs the traditional materials and motifs of lover's eye jewellery to make a brooch that offers interchangeable eye components; these interchangeable eye components symbolise the ephemeral and fragile nature of present-day fast-food-like love.
The widespread phenomenon of celebrity worship, particularly prominent in Asia, provides solace to individuals. However, excessive idolisation also fosters obsessive behaviours. As a celebrity crush enthusiast, Yijia He has experienced her own moments of celebrity idolisation. Nevertheless, she has eventually realised that the relationship between fans and celebrities is one-sided and fragile. Although such a connection may offer fleeting beauty, it will fade away. Whilst lover's eye jewellery traditionally signifies enduring love and profound emotional connections, Yijia He’s collection of contemporary lover’s eye jewellery represents the vulnerability inherent in celebrity adoration, reminding us of the stark contrast between real love and celebrity adoration.
When exploring intimate connections through lover's eye jewellery, Yijia He finds that the most intimate relationship is not with others but with oneself. Consequently, she designs lover's eye jewellery that reflects the wearer's eyes; this reflection serves to remind us to be wary of the narcissistic relationship.
Yijia He's jewellery showcases profound insights into contemporary interpersonal relationships and acute observations of social phenomena. Through exquisite craftsmanship and a unique artistic approach, she seamlessly blends motifs from 19th-century lover's eye jewellery into a contemporary context. By imbuing lover's eye jewellery with new meanings and functions, her work allows for free interpretation within various contemporary narratives. Yijia expresses different modern relationships in an interesting way. She invites the audience to actively participate in the work, breaks cultural constraints, and conveys the concept to the audience. In her creative process, Yija breaks free from the constraints and expectations of only using traditional jewellery materials and explores the possibilities of everyday materials to reflect her creative thinking and critical analysis.