With a sculptor as a father and an architect as a grandfather, Cindy Chao has inherited a meticulous creative process. In conceptualising and fashioning her exquisite objets d’art, the Taiwanese jewellery artist initiates her creative process using the classic 18th-century wax sculpting technique, before crafting the final perfected design in precious metals and gems.
Her method results in three-dimensional free-flowing pieces of jewellery with asymmetrical shapes. Over the 15 years since she established her brand, CINDY CHAO The Art Jewel has become one of the world’s most remarkable independent jewellers.
Each year since 2008, Chao creates a unique bejewelled butterfly to join her yearly Black Label Masterpieces collection. She unveiled her latest in the Annual Butterfly series—the 2018 Black Label Masterpiece I “Red Diamond Butterfly Brooch”—in Paris in January. Designed for an influential collector of the Chinese-French artists Zao Wou-Ki and Sanyu, it is inspired by the free-flowing lines that dominate the artists’ work.
Guided by their use of ink wash painting, Chao opted for an unusually soft silhouette. “Both Sanyu’s and Zao Wou-Ki’s work, although very different at first glance, share one thing in common,” she explains. “Their lines are saturated with textures, stories and moods. [This] echoes with my creative philosophy in recent years and I wanted to infuse this artistic concept into the 2018 Annual Butterfly.”
The Annual Butterflies embody the ongoing metamorphosis of myself as an artist and the advancement of our techniques and craftsmanship—Cindy Chao