When Cindy chao, Taiwanese fine jewelry, was named Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres in Paris last month, becoming the first founder of a luxury jewelry house to receive the prestigious distinction, which rewards significant contributions arts or literature in France.
Created in 1957, the award, which is administered by the French Ministry of Culture and Communication, has among its laureates some of the best creative minds of the past six decades, including author Salman Rushdie, magician David Copperfield, composer Philip Glass, actress Meryl Streep and publisher Glenda Bailey.
“I am deeply honored to be recognized by an institution of such a history and to be in the company of the greatest artistic luminaries of the past decades,” said Chao. Robb Report. âThis distinction brought me an even greater responsibility of being a bridge between East and West, to facilitate a more in-depth cultural exchange between France and Asia.
That Chao, best known for her ornate and gem-encrusted brooches (the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, the Smithsonian in Washington, DC, and the Museum of Decorative Arts in Paris each have their own), was greeted in order speaks volumes about the quality of her work, but also about the growing appreciation of jewelry as an art form.
âMy art jewelry is the embodiment of traditional French craftsmanship,â says Chao, who attributes her artistic tendencies to being the granddaughter of an architect and the daughter of a sculptor.
Chao’s use of French jewelry techniques has been the common thread of her work since she founded her label, CINDY CHAO The Art Jewel, in Taipei in 2004. Shortly after opening a private showroom and studio designer in the Taiwanese capital, Chao embarked on a trip to France to consult with the country’s skilled bench jewelers.
âAt the start of my journey in fine jewelry, I visited some of France’s most experienced artisans with my Black Label Masterpiece design and wax patterns,â Chao recalls. âThey were working with other renowned jewelry houses like JAR. Seeing a young Asian woman like me, they were initially unsure of my abilities and I spent a lot of time conveying my vision to them, convincing them of my dedication to creating jewelry. I showed them my wax sculptures, explained to them how my creative education shaped me. They recognized my talents as a sculptor and gradually accepted me.
You could say it again. For more than a dozen years, Chao’s work served as a platform for jewelry techniques mastered by the French, including the 18th century technique of lost wax casting known as lost wax, manufacture in titanium and exceptional setting.
âWhat attracts me to French craftsmanship is its indelible link with history,â explains Chao. âFrance is at the origin of fine jewelry Due to its rich royal history, one can see the lines of history and the lasting impact of great craftsmen in every piece.
To celebrate her induction into the order, Chao recently unveiled three new Black Label masterpieces, the epitome of her fine jewelry designs, including two pairs of diamond-set earrings, one adorned with Colombian emeralds and the other an extraordinary combination of light brown diamonds and maple wood. , and an extravagant pink and orange sapphire brooch, all of which were made in France and underline her love affair with French art.
âThe superior setting work found among the three pieces is the perfect illustration of this historic French technique,â ââsaid Chao. “In the Morning Dew Green Vine earrings and the Ribbon brooch, we have created the softest organic lines using the hardest titanium, generating conflicting tension to represent the vibrant life of the universe.”
Chao says the pioneering combination of wood and diamonds in her new Maplewood earrings is an example of how she approaches her jewelry designs the same way a good artist might work with traditional raw materials such as paint and clay.
âWe have worked closely with experienced French silversmiths and adapted the traditional technique of making gold onto maple wood, a new material that we have never used on our fine jewelry and, indeed , is rarely applied to fine jewelry, âshe says. âA block of maple wood has been carved and hollowed out to encapsulate the 25 carats of brown diamonds. It is a daring attempt to create fine jewelry and a transformation from a traditional technique into a modern technique, proving that our fine jewelry is created using the same mindset as creating a work by art.
to which we can only say Yes!