Skip to main content

Jewellery & Metal (MA)

Hiu Tung Yip, Wings

Hiu Tung Yip is a practising researcher from Hong Kong with a visual design and jewellery making background. She holds an MFA in jewellery from Alchimia the Contemporary Jewellery School in Florence, Italy, and has received the Arts & Crafts Design Merit Award in 2018. Yip’s works have been exhibited internationally in shows such as Collect (London, 2019), CODA Paper Art (Apeldoorn, 2019), Marzee International Graduate Show (Nijmegen, 2018), and Melting Point (Valencia, 2018).





Degree Details

School of Arts & Humanities

Jewellery & Metal (MA)

Recent research tackles aesthetic and philosophical dimensions in our subjective understanding of Cute. We commonly associate Cute with the sweet, fluffy, tame, formally simple and usually small. Yet these are only one side of the multi-faceted body of Cute.

The Subjective Analysis of (the Production of) the Contemporary Manmade Cute is an on-going research project that aims to investigate the concepts of the manmade Cute, as a multi-layered aesthetic and an emotionally powerful sensibility. With reference to important literary works such as The Power of Cute by Simon May and Our Aesthetic Categories by Sianne Ngai, combining with my own observation towards cultural ‘artefacts’ and artworks, this is an exploration to understand and critique the applications and cultural significance of Cute through analytical writing and reflective making.

The Subjective Analysis of (the Production of) the Contemporary Manmade Cute – Research Book


Through analysing visual and tactile qualities, artworks and cultural symbols we associate with Cute and Uncanny, and finding them in unusual objects and applying them in different contexts, this research looks into the (production of) contemporary manmade Cute, i.e. how do we provoke the feelings of Cute in a completely manufactured circumstance? What do we have to borrow from nature? From the pass? From our shared cultural awareness? And what does that speak of us as an ever-changing culture and society?


Digital Publication
AestheticcutenessdomesticemotionjewelleryPhotographyResearchSculpturetextileuncannywearable sculptureWriting

Cute as the (Anti)Domestic Sur-reality 01

Cute as the (Anti)Domestic Sur-reality 02

Cute as the (Anti)Domestic Sur-reality 03

Cute as the (Anti)Domestic Sur-reality 04

Cute as the (Anti)Domestic Sur-reality 05

Cute as the (Anti)Domestic Sur-reality 06

Cute as the (Anti)Domestic Sur-reality 07

Cute as the (Anti)Domestic Sur-reality 08

Cute as the (Anti)Domestic Sur-reality 09

Cute is domestic, in the sense that it is able to create a safe and warm space. To illustrate this, you only have to look at how there is a ‘cute version’ of every homey object, especially in Asia. It is closely linked with our childhood and nostalgia. Cute’s domesticity also comes from that it carries a sense of ‘supposed private-ness’, in how you create a personal bond with a cute object when you regard them as cute, and in how as an adult, enjoying cute things are sometimes frowned upon and in some cases shamed into private-ness.

Yet Cute is also anti-domestic – it has the power to make anything surreal and thus out of the ordinary. If we apply the formula of Cute to any daily object, we are essentially creating an exaggerated version of that in reality. In this sense, Cute almost always semi-detach itself from our world.

Coming from a jewellery making background gives Hiu a specific edge in understanding Cute as a body-related sensibility that shares the internal tension and struggles between jewellery, domesticity and traditional feminine crafts within the context of art.

Limited edition prints available, please contact artist for details.


Wearable Soft Sculpture, Photography
The failed Anatomy of Cute
As one of the methodologies used in this body of work, this animation draft aims to provide a visual analysis as to extract conventionally cute qualities such as roundness, softness and fluffiness, and apply them onto a geometric cube through a series of metamorphosis – shouldn’t it be cute if those qualities are the essence of what Cute is?




21 July 2020
14:00 (GMT + 0)

Jewellery & Metal Panel Discussion: Emotive Materiality

Read More

Previous Student

Next Student

  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • YouTube
Royal College of Art
Registered Office: Royal College of Art,
Kensington Gore, South Kensington,
London SW7 2EU
RCA™ Royal College of Art™ are trademarks
of the Royal College of Art