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Material Quests

Knowledge of, research into, collecting and promoting new trends in the applied arts and design was and remains the goal of the Shop at the Benaki Museum Pireos 138. We have collected the most interesting examples from these disciplines, offering the public an opportunity to become more intimately familiar with modern day creations. 

“Material Quests” is a series of exhibitions aiming to highlight unique works that frequently abolish the boundaries between functional and decorative objects and works of art. Artists who are innovators in terms of their creativity and skills present their personal pursuits and exhibit works of exceptional aesthetics, superb craftsmanship and particular artistic inspiration. 

Jewelry, perhaps the most intimate and personal form of art, deservedly enjoys the lion’s share of the exhibition space. Over the last years, as the frontiers of jewelry have been redefined and older conventions have been under siege, new generations of talented jewelry makers have introduced radical ideas, new technologies and materials, innovative combinations and techniques to overturn classical forms. 

Jewelry has developed into wearable art, yet is a form that is not always readily accepted, as it often exists outside the narrow definitions of a decorative or valuable object, or because, as a unique work of art, it can be financially inaccessible. In collaboration with Athens Jewelry Week, our goal is to help the public become more familiar with this type of jewelry. 

Besides the research it conducts into works of the past, the Museum endeavours to also highlight the present and prepare for the future. 

It is possible, therefore, that through this effort —with our exceptional collaborators, their invaluable experience and creative dialogue — future exhibition items will be revealed: this is our aspiration. 


Despina Geroulanou

Benakis Logos

Benaki Museum, Pireos 138, 

Athens 118 54

Tel. (+30) 210 3453111

Youjin Um


Youjin Um

A jewelry artist based in Seoul, South Korea, Youjin Um retains childhood memories in virtual spaces, materialized into wearable objects. Silver, Um’s primary material, recalls for her the purity of childhood. Piercing, her preferred technique, involves rules and repetitive actions, symbolizing the hope embodied in actions requiring patience and effort. Starting with the stable structure of an hexagon, she builds a more solid and sturdy frame, and in the process, gradually transforms its shape.




GEM V-1, Collection: Hexagonal Gem


Sterling Silver

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