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Jewellery & Metal (MA)

Finchittida Finch

Finchittida Finch is a multi-dimensional artist and alchemist based in London. Born in 1989 to a Lao refugee and a charming working class Londoner, Finchittida grew up seeking adventure, meaning and refuge in secret urban jungles, fashion and ancient spiritual wisdom.

Finchittida’s current body of work centres around trauma and transformation. Spanning different dimensions, forms and sensoriums across the physical, virtual and spiritual planes. The transient nature of her work invites people to pause and reflect, share and heal.

From 2011-2017, Finchittida ran her eponymous jewellery brand, leading the creative direction, designing jewellery collections and creating bespoke commissions for Warner Bros, FKA twigs and music artists worldwide. 

During her first year at the RCA, she was selected to showcase her work for His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales, as part of his official royal visit to the college in 2018.

Finchittida was also chosen as the first RCA student to take part in the RCA-KUAD (Kyoto University of Art & Design) exchange programme in 2019.

In December 2019 she was invited to hold her first Solo Exhibition Laid To Rest and community project which took place in Kameoka, Kyoto Prefecture, Japan.


Burberry Design Scholarship, Royal College of Art, 2018 - 2020

Young Enterprise of the Year, Ixion Holdings, 2014 

1st Prize, Burberry Business Challenge, Burberry Foundation’s Global Job Training Programme, 2012


MA with distinction, Royal College of Art, London, 2018-2020

Exchange programme, Kyoto University of Art & Design, Japan, 2019

1st Class Honours, BA Textile Design, Chelsea College of Art & Design, University of the Arts London, 2008 - 2011


Laid To Rest, solo exhibition, Kyoto, Japan

Matter-morphosis, Dyson Gallery, London

WIP Show, Royal College of Art, London




Degree Details

School of Arts & Humanities

Jewellery & Metal (MA)

Finchittida’s MA practice has been a process of inner alchemy, unearthing and transmuting the roots of trauma through the carving of fruits and vegetables, the writing of poetry, the act of ritual and the conscious awareness of meditation. More recently in lockdown this has expanded into the virtual realm with VR and AR.

Inspired by her Lao heritage, Finchittida has been learning the ancient art of fruit and vegetable carving as part of her MA practice. She is using this artform to communicate and explore deeper themes about her multi-cultural heritage, communal sharing and healing processes.

For Finchittida the act of carving is both a meditative ritual and a visual metaphor with powerful communicative and transformative value. The fruits and vegetables themselves act as living entities and embodiments of her own inner alchemy. Fruits and vegetables have anthropomorphic qualities that lend themselves to the themes in her work, as they grow, ripen, rot, decay, disperse seeds and grow again.

Her current body of work explores alchemical transformations and the cycles of life, death and rebirth, drawing parallels between ecological, psychological and astrophysical breakdowns and breakthroughs. She utilises these cycles to gain a deeper understanding of the human experience, in order to heal personal, intergenerational and collective trauma.

Field research with organic farmers in Kameoka, Kyoto Prefecture, Japan. Autumn, 2019

I spent the first term of 2nd Year immersed in the creative agricultural community of Kameoka, Japan. Prior to this, I had only ever carved fruits and vegetables from supermarkets, feeling very disconnected from the crops I was carving.

Whilst in Japan, my practice changed from working with inanimate genetically modified supermarket produce >>> to >>> organic living entities. I learnt to embrace the ephemeral nature of fruits and vegetables, and life itself.

Through my research I drew parallels between psychological and ecological breakdown, based on my own life experiences and witnessing the impact of the climate crisis first-hand. With this discovery, I am learning how the human race can harness the life cycles of nature to heal personal and collective traumas and regenerate the planet.


organic entities, human connection and a typhoon

In Collaboration with:

Special thanks to: Professor Matsui Sensei, Yosuke Sakai, Takeda Sachiko, Tatsumi Yuki, Mitsuhiro Katamoto, Kentaro Suzuki, KIRI Cafe team, Kyoto University of Art & Design and the organic farming community in Kameoka.
agricultureClimate crisisdeathdecayDisembodimentecologyglobal crisisJapannatureOrganicsustainabilitytrauma
November, 2019

Freshly carved, December 2019

Written in Japan, 2019

'Laid To Rest' solo exhibition, Japan, December 2019

A month later, January 2020

I was drawn to the anthropomorphic quality of this carrot, that had been grown by a local organic farmer in Kameoka. I saw myself in her, and her in me. I witnessed her leaves wilt and die and then watched with awe as new leaves grew. I adorned her skin like a phoenix rising from the ashes. During my solo exhibition 'Laid To Rest' I paid homage to her life, her death and her rebirth.


organic carrot, life force energy, water, light & care
3D scan of a hand-carved canary melon, transmuted into virtual gold.

Hand-carved canary melon, February 2020.

VR collaboration with RCA MA Architecture alumni Ibiye Camp, exploring alchemical processes.
For my Mother, a refugee from Laos, gold was not a luxury but a necessity that aided her survival. Learning what gold meant to her life, made me question: 'What does gold mean to me?'

This has shaped much of my practice into an exploration of gold as a metaphor and the process of alchemy in relation to the human experience through my dissertation and studio practice.

My Lao ancestors taught me that fruit = gold, which inspired me to learn the ancient art of fruit and vegetable carving. This tradition originates from Laos / Thailand over 700 years ago. As fruits and vegetables are ephemeral entities I decided to 3D-scan this melon in order to “preserve” it in a way that still honours this ancient art-form and its value to me.

As the Coronavirus pandemic took hold of our lives and caused severe food shortages worldwide, fruit and vegetables became even more precious, and forced me to rethink my practice.

This inspired me to transmute a canary melon that I had hand-carved, into a seemingly intangible and indestructible golden entity, swapping the ephemeral properties of fruit with the elemental properties of AU; element 79; gold.

Working with virtual gold is enabling me to expand my alchemical practice in ways that I can share universally using VR and AR technology. In doing so I hope to open up meaningful conversations about the collective traumas Covid-19 has caused and uprooted, and our vision for a new earth.


Hand-carved melon and virtual gold

In Collaboration with:

Artist & Architect Ibiye Camp, RCA MA Architecture alumni
VR collaboration with artist & architect Ibiye Camp, 2020.

Excerpt from my dissertation; ‘Now I Ain’t Sayin’ She a Gold Digger’. Finchittida Finch, 2019.

Astrophysics applies the laws of physics and chemistry to explain the birth, life and death of stars, planets, galaxies and other objects in the universe. This draws interesting parallels with my field research in Japan on ecological breakdown and the cycles of life on earth.

The astrological life cycles of stars spans billions of years and triggers huge chemical reactions that scientists believe create many heavy elements such as gold, platinum and uranium. According to recent scientific discoveries, the elemental formation of gold starts with the death of a supernova, followed by the subsequent birth and death of neutron stars colliding together.

I worked with artist & architect Ibiye Camp to create this VR animation which explores the cycle of life, death and rebirth in neutron stars that create gold. We used 3D scans of a canary melon that I hand-carved to highlight the parallels between the micro on earth and the macro in space.


Hand-carved canary melon and virtual gold

In Collaboration with:

VR collaboration with Artist & Architect Ibiye Camp on Cinema 4D, using the 3D scan of a hand-carved canary melon.
Stereoscopic animation created in collaboration with Peter Musson using a 3D scan of hand-carved canary melon.
Covid-19 is triggering a huge global awakening for humanity.

We are currently experiencing death in various forms, from the loss of loved ones to the breakdown of cultural, economical and political systems. Through our physical separation we've realised how truly interconnected we all are, as well as what doesn't serve us or our planet, and we're ready for a spectacular rebirth.

I've started expanding my research into the correlation between life-cycles of stars with life-cycles on earth, utilising VR and AR technology to create dynamic experiences that encourage new ways of understanding the interconnectedness between all life on earth and beyond.

This opens up discussions between science, art, agriculture and our global community on what we can learn from these micro and macro life cycles, that have the potential to birth new kinds of gold, both physical and metaphorical, which I believe is essential to the healing of ourselves and our planet.


Hand-carved canary melon, virtual gold and astrophysics

In Collaboration with:

Special thanks to Peter Musson for expert technical support. Peter Musson is a Designer Silversmith and Jewellery & Metal technician at the Royal College of Art.

Hand-carved watermelon, February 2020.

Structural detail

Hand-carved watermelon, February 2020.

A poem written in lockdown, 2020

2 weeks after carving, March 2020

Carving this watermelon was painstaking.
For over a year I had been working my way through
apples, carrots, potatoes
and a whole host of fruits and vegetables,
until I finally reached the holy grail of my ancestral tradition:
the watermelon.

I scrutinised every single petal,
flawed with imperfection.
It wasn't until the whole flower came into full bloom
that I could see its true beauty and perfection.

But it was short and fleeting.

Too late to eat,
too precious to
throw away...

Displaced from nature.

Initially the lessons I'd learnt from Japan
felt redundant in the city,
disconnected from the cycles of life, death
and rebirth so prevalent in the natural world.

"So I left you in a carrier bag
on the balcony
of Woo2.78

half to

and half because
I didn't know how to let go."

It wasn't until I placed the dying watermelon
on the alter of my studio temple
and into the light,
that I finally found atonement and beauty in its death.
After that I could let go.


Watermelon, perfectionism & atonement

Portrait and poem written in lockdown, 2019

Life on lockdown, 2019

During lockdown I’ve felt unable to carve, finding solace in writing and carving virtually in my mind instead, sometimes fruit, sometimes words. I’ve found myself observing the fruits and vegetables I live with: living entities and metaphors that embody how I feel and what I want to release.


Papaya, baby's breath, leather, mould, sunlight, humidity

In Collaboration with:

Yellow patent leather courtesy of Burberry
Photography: Romain Protin, Lisa Finch and Yuki Tatsumi

Photography: Romain Protin, Lisa Finch and Yuki Tatsumi

Photography: Maxwell Tomlinson (left), Romain Protin (right)

For my first solo exhibition guests were invited to witness a special reenactment of the Tonsure Ritual I had carried out with my family before leaving for Japan. Traditionally 'Tonsure' is a ceremony of initiation in which one's hair is cut as part of a ritual marking the entrance into a new stage of life. This ritual featured transcendental soundscaping by IED student Jordan Edge.

Along the way guests uncovered personal objects, poetry, textiles, metalwork, ceramics and living/dying vegetable sculptures that I harvested with local organic farmers and hand-carved myself.

The shrine was made up the crops leftover from harvest or damaged by a recent typhoon, and featured special objects made using Japanese crafts like traditional metalwork that I studied at Morimoto Decorative Metal Workshop in Kyoto, as well as a hand-embroidered Noren (curtain) in collaboration with Japanese artist Yuka Sato.

In Collaboration with:

Special thanks to: Professor Matsui Sensei, Yosuke Sakai, Takeda Sachiko, Tatsumi Yuki, Lisa Finch, Jordan Edge, Yuka Sato, Mitsuhiro Katamoto, Kentaro Suzuki, KIRI Cafe team, Kyoto University of Art & Design and the organic farming community in Kameoka. This exhibition was kindly sponsored by KIRI.
Photography: Yuki Tatsumi, Lisa Finch & Finchittida Finch

Photography: Yuki Tatsumi, Lisa Finch & Finchittida Finch

Alongside my exhibition, I led a cross-cultural community project: learning, sharing & collaborating with organic farmers, artists, members of the local community and international guests.

This included a roundtable discussion about the power of art and agriculture in relation to ecological breakdown/breakthrough and psychological breakdown/breakthrough. This led to in-depth cross-cultural conversations about ways in which the local community are working together to re-harness the organic power of nature, making their own ‘ecological breakthroughs’ and cultivating sustainable ways of life that benefits all.

I also led a vegetable carving workshop using vegetables freshly harvested with local organic farmer Mitsuhiro Katamoto, as a form of art therapy. Participants were invited to consciously connect with the vegetables that resonated with them through the act of washing, holding, carving and finally eating.

To bring the exhibition to a close, I created a Nabe Ritual; where we cooked the hand-carved vegetables into a traditional Japanese hotpot (Nabe) and all ate together a gesture of gratitude to each other and the earth.

In Collaboration with:

Special thanks to: Professor Matsui Sensei, Yosuke Sakai, Takeda Sachiko, Tatsumi Yuki, Lisa Finch, Jordan Edge, Yuka Sato, Mitsuhiro Katamoto, Kentaro Suzuki, KIRI Cafe team, Kyoto University of Art & Design and the organic farming community in Kameoka, Kyoto Prefecture, Japan. This workshop and event was kindly sponsored by KIRI.

Photography: Alexandra Leese

Inanimate >>> Animate

Dissect >>> Connect

Cross-cultural collaboration with my Japanese exchange partner Teruyuki Sano, 2019.

During Teruyuki's term at the RCA, he was absolutely fascinated by British cutlery. Unable to speak each other's languages, we found the process of physically deconstructing British table manners and tools an effective way of learning, sharing and dissecting our cultural differences in a new and exciting way.


Hand-cut antique cutlery and hand-carved carrot

In Collaboration with:

Japanese artist and silversmith based in Kyoto, Japan.

In January 2019 I started learning a new skill: ⁣⁣
the ancient art of fruit & vegetable carving, ⁣⁣
which originated 700 years ago in Thailand / Laos.⁣⁣
I’d been struggling with a creative block for 3 years, ⁣⁣
unable to design or make anything. ⁣⁣
It felt like I’d lost a huge part of me, ⁣⁣
which I didn’t know how to get back.⁣⁣
During the long process of ⁣⁣
soul searching ⁣⁣
and facing my demons, ⁣⁣
I eventually found myself ⁣⁣
being called back ⁣⁣
to my asian roots ⁣⁣
via fruit + veg.⁣⁣
Slice by slice, ⁣⁣
I began to unlock my creativity, purpose + passion, ⁣⁣
under the masterful guidance of my teachers ⁣⁣
Ba Su + mother nature.⁣⁣


Hand-carved swede

Burberry Design Scholarship

Finchittida Finch was awarded the prestigious Burberry Design Scholarship to study on the Jewellery & Metal MA programme at the Royal College of Art, 2018 - 2020.

24 July 2020
14:00 (GMT + 0)

Jewellery & Metal Panel Discussion: Social Narratives

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