Cover Insignia of Chevalier dans l'Ordre des Arts et Lettres (Photo: Courtesy of Cindy Chao The Art Jewel)

Chao adds the prestigious award to her lengthy list of accolades and international recognition

On November 17, Asian jewellery artist Cindy Chao was appointed the Chevalier dans l’Ordre des Arts et Lettres. Receiving the award from France’s minister of culture, Roselyne Bachlelot, Chao joined an elite group of recipients that have made outstanding contributions to the arts and literature fields. The order is awarded in adherence to a strict criterion, with just 200 recipients each year.

“Exceptional artist-jeweller, you keep pushing the limits of your art,” Bachelot says of Chao. She continues her commendations, bestowing the award for: “The exceptional quality of your works and for your contribution to the life and transmission of the jewellery savoir faire of our country.”

Chao has a longstanding affinity with France, where her European maison is situated, and where she presents White Label and Black Label masterpiece collections to collectors from Europe, the United States and Asia.

Chao’s ornate designs are created by master French craftsmen, one of whom has been awarded the title of Meilleur Ouvrier de France. The team of skilled craftsmen possess the unique skills required to bring the hand-crafted Black Label masterpieces to life, a process that can take up to 10,000 hours.

“The distinction brought me an even bigger responsibility to be a bridge between East and West to facilitate a deeper cultural exchange between France and Asia,” says Chao.  Butterflies feature prominently in both French fine jewellery and across Chao’s collection of work, while Chao’s use of bows is inspired by Louis XIV and visits to the Palace of Versailles.

The Chevalier dans l’Ordre des Arts et Lettres is the latest in a long list of accolades for Chao. During her debut at Masterpiece London in 2018, Chao received the Outstanding Object Award. Her works have been inducted in renowned museums the world over. The Smithsonian Museum in Washington inducted Chao’s Royal Butterfly Brooch in 2010, The Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris added her Ruby Butterfly Brooch into their permanent collection in 2020, and most recently, the Victoria & Albert Museum in London welcomed the Peony Brooch into their acclaimed William and Judith Bollinger Gallery in May 2021.

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