Celebrating two decades of exquisite craftsmanship and artistic ingenuity, the museum-calibre Cindy Chao The Art Jewel unveils its “20th Anniversary Collection” featuring two iconic motifs “Dragonfly” and leaf of “Four Seasons”, representing the artist’s journey to art jewels creation.

In 2004, Cindy Chao founded her eponymous brand, Cindy Chao The Art Jewel. Since then, she has insisted on breaking the boundaries between jewellery and art with “the mind of an architect and the hands of a sculptor”, pioneering the artistry and craftsmanship in the realm of high jewellery.

Since the brand’s establishment, three of Chao’s Black Label Masterpieces have been permanently inducted by the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History in Washington D.C, the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris, and the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. The brand has also participated in international art fairs, including the Biennale des Antiquaires in Paris, the European Fine Art Fair (TEFAF), and the Masterpiece London, where it had garnered awards for three consecutive years.

In 2021, Cindy Chao became the first Asian jewellery artist to receive the “Knight of the Order of Arts and Literature” from the French Ministry of Culture. Roselyne Bachelot, then-Minister of Culture in France, honoured Cindy Chao at the ceremony as an “exceptional artist-jeweller who keeps pushing the limits of art.”

In February 2024, Haute École de Joaillerie in Paris invited Cindy Chao, the first Asian jewellery artist to guest lecture at the prestigious institution in its 160 years history, to share her expertise in traditional French jewellery wax sculpting (Cire Perdue) techniques and her distinctive creative vision with students. Under her guidance, these young talents collaboratively crafted an impressively scaled wax sculpture exhibited at the Louvre Museum.

Over the years, Cindy Chao’s art jewels have adornments acclaimed actresses and actors at the world’s most prestigious red carpets, including the Academy Awards, Cannes Film Festival, and Met Gala. At this year’s Oscars, Michelle Yeoh and Matthew McConaughey radiated in her jewellery pieces. Previously, stars like Julia Roberts, Amy Adams, Salma Hayek, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Wendi Murdoch have selected Cindy Chao’s creations for their iconic red-carpet appearances.

Chao has been pursuing her artistry and driving the innovation and evolution in craftsmanship at the forefront of contemporary jewellery making for the past two decades.The 20th Anniversary Collection illustrates her enduring spirit of creative freedom and confidence amassed over her artistic journey.

Leaf Brooches

Crafting the Hardest Metal to Form the Softest Curvatures

At the heart of the 20th Anniversary Collection lies Chao’s signature “Four Seasons” leaf motif, symbolising the ever-changing seasonality and offering Cindy’s poignant narrative on perpetual cycle of Nature. This collection encapsulates the essence of her body of work, marking a pivotal moment in her remarkable career.

Chao’s own Four Seasons began with the Winter – as her first art jewel creation, the “Winter Branch Necklace and Bangle” reflected her solitude as an aspiring artist forging into a new and unknown path. In 2007, the winterthemed ensemble was auctioned for nearly three times the estimated price, taking her to the international stage and hence the creations hold profound significance for the artist.

For nearly a decade after, Chao was unable to create “Winter” as she experienced when she first started her career. At the 2016 Paris Biennale des Antiquaires, she reiterated “Winter Leaves Necklace” which later earned the Masterpiece Highlight accolade at the Masterpiece London. By this time her winter glinted with the light of new hopes.

Given the pivotal role of the Four Seasons Collection in Chao’s oeuvre, she deliberately incorporated her signature Four Seasons leaf motif into the 20th Anniversary Collection. With the form of a leaf, she tells the story of ever-changing seasonality, the flow of time, and cyclical rhythm of life. Chao worked with 12 European master craftsmen to study and forge the organic forms of the leaves and completed them with three-dimensional gemsetting. To capture the true ambience of each season and shape the vitality of the leaves in different seasons, the craftsmen only work on the leaves in their respective seasons, hence it took three cycles of the four seasons to accomplish these objets des arts. The crease, gradients of light and shadow, and colour transitions on the leaves are achieved by Chao’s spatial sensibility and sculptural skills, pushing titanium metalwork to a new height.

Chao’s relentless pursuit has always been to use the hardest metal to create the softest curvatures. Titanium, known for its extreme lightweight properties and exceptional hardness with a melting point of up to 1,668 degrees, making its shaping and gem-setting three times longer than that of 18K gold.

Each Leaf Brooch is set with around 1,500 gemstones on the titanium base of just 1.77mm in thickness. Hence the craftsmen are required to work under a microscope between 20 to 60 times magnification. Due to the strain on their eyes, craftsmen can only work for three to five hours a day. Despite the intricacy of the pieces, the average weight of each brooch is merely 22 grams, a true reflection of the lightness of a real leaf.

Dragonfly Brooches

A Tribute to Two Decades of Artistic Tenacity

Cindy Chao’s 20th Anniversary Collection also features the “Dragonfly.” Dragonflies were a common inspiration in art history and were seen in many great works. With their ethereal beauty and a blend of fragility, dragonflies in reality possess the power of soaring through the skies at a speed up to 100 kilometres per hour. While Cindy Chao’s “Annual Butterfly” represents the artist’s metamorphosis, the dragonfly embodies her persistence and courage over the past 20 years, showcasing the artist’s spirit of breaking through against the wind and transcending to the future.

Each Dragonfly Brooch in the 20th Anniversary Collection are singular and uniquely one-of-a-kind. Through extensive observation of nature and using vibrant colours to capture the dynamic spirits of the dragonfly, Chao “paints’ the brooches with at least 13 different gemstones in over 50 various hues. A mix of titanium, gold, ox horn, and light-activated resin employed in this collection means numerous evaluations of their respective characteristics, constructing suitable tenon structures and precise joints – a true feast of engineering. The 20th Anniversary Collection serves as a profound testament to the aesthetic finesse and meticulous craftsmanship honed by Cindy Chao over two decades, underscored by her revolutionary ethos and unwavering artistic dedication.


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