Jaeger-LeCoultre announces the latest instalment in its Made of Makers programme, continuing to expand its cultural universe with a new collaboration with the Korean digital media artist Yiyun Kang, celebrating the iconic Reverso watch.

Jaeger-LeCoultre’s Made of Makers programme is meant to bring together a community of artists, designers and craftsmen from a variety of disciplines outside watchmaking. Horology is an art, and the programme is founded on creativity, expertise and precision, the core principles that have always defined Jaeger-LeCoultre.

Each year, exploring new forms of artistic expression through different and often unexpected materials and media, just like the watchmakers of La Grande Maison, these artists and innovators come up with their creations. Thus, the works commissioned through the Made of Makers programme animate the exhibitions that Jaeger-LeCoultre stages around the world, amplifying the chosen theme, and this year, Korean digital media artist Yiyun Kang is the new „discovery” of the Maison.

Famous for her immersive audio-visual installations that recast space with moving image and sound, Yiyun Kang is one of the most active and talented Korean digital media artists in today’s international art scene, as well as a highly respected teacher and researcher.

Yiyun Kang explores the intersection of art, technology, and experience to investigate what she describes as “the in-between – between the finite and infinite, reality and unreality, surface and depth, absence and presence”. Valuing art as a medium for communication, she invites us, through her work, to contemplate where the limits are and what those boundaries mean – for humanity and the important questions that we face in today’s world.

With the help of this relatively new art form of projection-mapping, Yiyun Kang’s works play with the symbiotic relationship between moving images, narrative, and space beyond the conventional screen. From small-scale works created for indoor environments to very large site-specific works created for public outdoor spaces, these immersive environments involve the viewers as participants, taking them into another dimension; the effect is awe-inspiring, and occasionally disconcerting as the sense of space, dimension and time is dissolved and re-formed.

To better understand what the 2023 theme of the Golden Ratio means to Jaeger-LeCoultre, Yiyun Kang spent time at the Manufacture in the Vallée de Joux, gaining a deeper understanding of the Maison’s home, its values and the process of watchmaking.

“It was fascinating to see how the Reverso was made at the Manufacture. As an artist who works at the intersection of creativity and technology, I found it very interesting that the original design of Reverso was driven instinctively by the Golden Ratio, and I sought out scientific research that could explain why humanity has been drawn to the concept for so many centuries,” says the artist. “Jaeger-LeCoultre inspired me to explore, to draw a continuous line from the natural world into my digital space.”

This became the starting point for the newly commissioned work, titled Origin. Presented in a very large three-dimensional screen that has been purpose-built for installation in public spaces, Origin is a tribute to the ubiquity of the Golden ratio in the world around us. Through its narrative, it builds a parallel between the symmetry in nature and the geometry of Art Deco design.

There are astounding examples from nature that literally represent the Phi number, the Golden Ratio, in their organisms,” Yiyun Kang observes. “Perhaps we are attracted to it because it identifies the origin of life – not just an aesthetic pattern, but an anchor for evolution. Seen in this light, the meaning of Golden Ratio becomes even more significant for us now that we are living in an Anthropocene age.”

Origin will make its debut in Seoul in June, before being presented at a series of Jaeger-LeCoultre events in key cities around the world, such as Chengdu, Singapore, New York and Zurich.

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