Jewellery in Culture Foundation (JiC) reflects on society through the lens of jewellery, by promoting and developing contemporary jewellery discourse with publishing and curatorial projects.

JiC believes in the power and relevance of adornment — jewellery, fashion artefacts, body modifications, digital enhancement technology — as key cultural and personal signifiers capable of reflecting larger sociopolitical issues.

JiC stands for transdisciplinary collaboration, rigorous research, critical thinking and experimental approach when it comes to adornment.

Jewellery in Culture Foundation was established in 2022 to encompass and support a range of projects by the independent magazine and platform Current Obsession. These projects include OBSESSED! Jewellery Festival, Munich Jewellery Week, GEMZ Talent Development Programme, among others.

Jewellery in Culture Foundation focuses on contemporary jewellery, a term used for decades to denote jewellery-related practices, products and objects that connect to contemporary art and culture. JiC consciously stretches this concept by adding personal and cultural signifiers that broaden the jewellery discourse as they refer to the bigger concepts of body adornment.

Whether we speak of contemporary jewellery or contemporary adornment, to us this specific field of research refers to various forms of adornment related to the human body. They help to express identities and personal narratives. They reinforce self- awareness and empowerment of the wearer, and express their inner world to the outside. Just as much, the story the maker: the artist, the designer, or the craftsperson.

In contemporary jewellery, the wearer is the stage for the art form, the exhibition space if you will. Meaning: the wearer will instantly transfer their personality onto the work, adding to its power of expression. Due to these qualities, contemporary jewellery functions as a lens that magnifies our society. Through the lens of jewellery, we see its current developments and shifts.

Herein lies the unique socio-cultural meaning of the medium. We see jewellery as one of the most fundamental art forms to accompany the human existence: the integral need to self- enhance, to signify, to distinguish and to belong, is closely tied to the gesture of adorning oneself. The archaeological findings on every continent demonstrate body- related, wearable objects dating tens of thousands of years.

Despite relevance and tremendous future potential, contemporary jewellery lacks the exposure and position it deserves within the fields of art and design. The discipline remains isolated, both within the context of sales (galleries) and exhibiting (museum and other cultural institutions). This has partly to do with imaging, partly with the properties of jewellery as an object. The majority of jewellery as we know it, remains a mass-produced commercial product, it’s value determined by its materiality, the brand, and far less by its symbolism or as means of personal expression.

Furthermore, the amount of practitioners is rather small in comparison to other disciplines, so is the decreasing amount of educational programmes dedicated to the practice globally.

Jewellery in Culture Foundation’s mission is to unite audiences from within and outside the jewellery domain and amplify the voices of the makers. JiC aims to expand and develop contemporary jewellery discourse, to reflect a broad concept of the cultural and personal significance of jewellery, including body adornment, fashion artefacts, digital means for self-enhancement, body modification, make-up and drag art, and furthermore everything that is related to this in the broadest sense, belongs to and/or can be conducive to this.

Although jewellery has had an essential cultural significance since the beginning of time, its meaning and influence have been gradually declining due to numerous factors: devaluation of non-Western heritages, focus exclusively on material value, trivialising and ‘feminising’ jewellery as trinkets, mass production of cheaply made jewellery. Those shifts are not necessarily all negative, but we do believe that jewellery as an art form and a carrier of a broader meaning, has to regain its position.

We view this as an important task of our Foundation: to rediscover and re-establish both position and meaning for jewellery. Our mission is to develop and visualise the social-cultural meaning of jewellery and strengthen its positioning.

That is why, as a Foundation, we strive to:

  • Contribute to the understanding of jewellery: to broaden its meaning, to promote the medium in a wider context of adornment, and to narrow the gap between art and design.

  • Contribute to the development of the field and support its practitioners. More specifically, but not exclusively, to support young talent and exemplary, experimental practitioners.

  • Offer an international platform to various contemporary jewellery practices. To further benefit internationalisation, we establish exchanges between the Dutch and international practitioners with the goal to grow connections and positioning on an international level.

We achieve these goals by:

  • Publishing, organisation and facilitation of a variety of projects supporting communities within the industry

  • Development and cultivation of an online platform for the jewellery discourse

  • Development and production of exhibitions

  • Scouting, tracking down and boosting promising and important projects

  • Organisation of public discussions

  • Collaboration and support for (inter)national jewellery, design and crafts weeks

  • Organisation and facilitation of educational projects, as well as collaboration with educational and research institutions working within or connected to the industry

Establishing the foundation is a carefully thought-out step, necessitated by our desire for autonomous artistic research, transparency, and sustained independence. Our long-term plan for the upcoming years is to strengthen our programming through connections with institutions in The Netherlands and abroad. The notion of a brick-and-mortar space for our platform seems less impactful than ‘planting’ ourselves within the contexts of neighbouring disciplines: architecture, design, fashion, anthropology, contemporary art, etc.

Working within these specific contexts, we aim to develop relevant curatorial projects that demonstrate jewellery’s enormous role in culture, hence, the name of our new Foundation, Jewellery in Culture.


Martijn van Ooststroom

Member of the Board

— an expert in art history, van Ooststroom is passionate about collecting and appreciating contemporary jewellery and ceramics. Presently, he holds the position of PR and Marketing lead at the Haags Historisch Museum. With a notable background, van Ooststroom previously chaired the Françoise van den Bosch Foundation. An additional highlight is his authorship of a recent publication that delves into the creative legacy of Dutch ceramist Wouter Dam.

Marina Elenskaya


— a co-founder of Current Obsession and its creative director. Her primary focus lies in advancing critical discourse within the realm of contemporary adornment, encompassing jewellery, fashion artifacts, AR, and body modifications. She views these elements as vital cultural and personal symbols, driving her research endeavors.

Cathelijne Engelkes

Member of the Board

— a co-founder of Oasis and Lagoon, a dynamic platform that conceives and arranges immersive workshops, functioning as a hub for nurturing fresh concepts in artistic and design realms. With her guidance, O&A has successfully curated an array of cross-disciplinary workshops worldwide, encompassing diverse domains like glasswork, ceramics, and jewellery crafting. Her professional dedication revolves around educational ventures, reflecting her core enthusiasm. Engelkes serves as the Product Design Coordinator at the ArtEZ Academy for Art & Design.

Noon Passama


— a renowned jewellery designer who pursued her education at the Gerrit Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam. Following her graduation in 2010, Passama has showcased her work in prestigious venues and platforms, including The Design Museum in London, Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris and Design Miami.

Billing Address:
Stichting Jewellery in Culture Petrus Dondersstraat 189  5613 LV Eindhoven

Postal and Visiting address:
Stichting Jewellery in Culture Rokin 102 1012 KZ Amsterdam

VAT number: NL863862378B01
KVK number: 86104373
Email address: