From the Art Jewelry Forum interview with Olivia Shih:
I am not interested in making slight variations of the same thing. The only design characteristic of my work that is standard is its relationship to the body. Through scale, my work consistently challenges the body, moving beyond the preciousness associated with jewelry and focusing on its efficacious and revelatory potential. Conceptually my work has always dealt with uncovering a narrative or the structure of narrative as such. In the Portrait series the investigation is personal, using materials, processes, color, form, and specific constructs of these variables to describe/reflect upon relationships I have with specific individuals in my life. A more general investigation takes place in the sets/accessoriesseries where illustrations of domestic interiors attempt to allude to the type of character who would reside there. This investigation of the revelatory potential found in domestic space continued in the put on the lights series, where I zoom in on the formal and symbolic language of light fixtures. As objects of literal and metaphorical revelation, light fixtures illuminate space, exposing its secrets and history. When the lights went on, aspects of a narrative, perhaps personal, were revealed: men’s striped velour sweaters, anodized aluminum, raised phallic vessels, mid-century modern architectural screens, and graphic images of cliché sunsets. These elements coalesced to create Cali Condensation.