Attai Chen is a contemporary jewelry artist, born in Motza Illit, Israel in 1979. He attended the Bezalel School of Art and Design in Jerusalem, followed by study at the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich, studying with Otto Künzli. He is the 2014 winner of the Andy award (Andrea M. Bronfman Prize for Contemporary Crafts, which is presented to Israeli artists for excellence in Jewelry, Ceramics, Textiles, Glass or Fashion.) He currently makes his home between Israel and Germany. Chen’s work is inspired by nature, and the great differences between the arid, desert of the Israeli Negev and the lush, greens of Germany contributes to Chen’s study of the natural cycles of life.
Chen chose to study at Bezalel because of its focus on using tangible materials as a point of departure in the creative process. Most of his works stay within the confines of jewelry, but other works are larger and present as sculptures or decorative objects, but are still connected to jewelry.
Chen believes that jewelry originated in the decorative arts where nature had a major impact on design. His goal is to create a body of work that is not identified as nature alone, or with any other specific frame of context or time setting. Instead he hopes to achieve jewelry pieces that belong to the territory between “natural” and “manmade” – the in-between territory which forms a new spectrum between these two spheres.