“Heavy” is my interpretation of a pearl necklace, the white strands that many women in corporate settings wear as adornment. It represents professional status but many times as women of color climb the corporate ladder, they are in settings where there are not any or many that look like them. They wear the cement necklace and the heaviness of all the extra emotional and physical labor they have to burden.
Adornment is a choice we make daily, a sometimes simple choice that reveals so much about us. We are taught as women that we have choices and opportunities but have so many societal, cultural, and political systems that continue to hold us back.
About these works:
Datchuk looks at how adornment can be used to empower and comfort the wearer in these forms, inspired by jewelry and good-luck charms. By rendering these objects on a large scale, she conveys the weight of traditional cultural symbols. In LUCKY Bracelet (2021), she references the Chinese tradition of giving gold jewelry to ensure stability. “In times of uncertainty, I grab onto objects that give me comfort and hold hope, like the LUCKY bracelet, a gift from my Chinese grandmother when I was a teenager.”
In Black and White (2021), Datchuk harnesses the symbolism of human hair to challenge dualities associated with luck. She pairs the black hair of a young girl with the grey hair of an elder, referencing the black-and-white symbol of the Chinese principles of the universe—yin (female) and yang (male), good and bad, and the naiveté of youth vs. wisdom that comes with age.