Cindy Chao knighted in the Order of Arts and Letters of France – Robb Report
When Taiwanese fine jewelry Cindy Chao was named Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres in Paris last month, she became the first founder of a luxury jewelry company to receive the prestigious honor, which recognizes significant contributions to the arts or literature in France.
Established in 1957, the award, which is administered by the French Ministry of Culture and Communication, counts 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 editor Glenda Bailey.
“I am deeply honored to be recognized by such an institution so rich in history and to be in the company of the greatest artistic luminaries of recent decades,” said Chao. Robb Report. “This 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.
“My art jewelry is the embodiment of traditional French craftsmanship,” 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.
“At 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,” Chao recalls. “They were working with other renowned jewelry houses like JAR. Seeing a young Asian woman like me, they were at first 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.
“What attracts me to French craftsmanship is its indelible link with history,” explains Chao. “France 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.
“The superior setting work found among the three pieces is the perfect illustration of this historic French technique,” said 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.
“We 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, ”she says. “A 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 of a traditional technique into a modern technique, which proves that our fine jewelry is created using the same mindset as creating a work of art. .
to which we can only say Yes!