In case you haven’t heard, Cindy Chao is the next big thing in high jewellery. Here’s what you need to know.
A few months ago, a select group of Singapore media were invited to a luncheon for a formal introduction to the CINDY CHAO The Art Jewel brand. The excitement in the room was palpable, as we all discreetly eyed jewellery boxes in one corner, guarded by straight-faced security guards. As we ate, we were regaled by videos of Cindy Chao and her creations, and at the same time, learned a little more about the Taiwanese jeweller and how she has been making waves in Europe for the last few years.
Moments later, the time came for us to come face to face with some of the most magnificent jewellery creations we’ve ever seen. With each box dramatically opened, an audible gasp left our mouths, perhaps to the amusement of the white-gloved brand representatives. Incredible jewels, organic shapes, and a surprising lightness were the first few things we noticed about the pieces, followed by a crash course on the artistic processes that went into their creation.
To prepare for CINDY CHAO The Art Jewel’s first foray into the Singapore market this year, here is what you should know about the jeweller and the brand.
1 Cindy Chao comes from a family of notable Taiwanese creatives. Her grandfather was a celebrated architect who designed hundreds of Temples across Taiwan, many of which are now considered national monuments. Meanwhile, her father is a sculptor who, with his bare hands, breathed life and emotion into his creations. Cindy was also her father’s first apprentice and it was through this experience that she learned to develop her unique style.
2 The eponymous brand was established in 2004 with the opening of its first showroom. Given her artistic background, Cindy Chao uses the classic 18th century artisan technique of crafting her designs in wax (cire perdu), before each piece is completed with gemstones and precious metals.
Solstice Sculptural Bangle
Emerald Ribbon Brooch
3 The brand has two collections: The museum-calibre Black Label Masterpieces, as well as the more approachable White Label Collection. She is also the first contemporary jewellery artist to receive the honour of having one of her creations – an iconic butterfly – admitted into the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History collection.
4 The Annual Butterfly is one of CINDY CHAO The Art Jewel’s most iconic creations, with nine extraordinary butterflies produced since 2008. The 2019 masterpiece is named “Aurora”, as the butterfly’s main colours are two strong contrasting shades – red and blue, just like red and blue northern lights. It features yellow diamond veins, blue diamond wings, white diamond scales, balanced with Burmese Pigeon’s Blood rubies.
Annual Butterfly 2019, “Aurora”
5 As testament to her artistry and skill, Cindy Chao has received numerous accolades. Highlights include awards from Masterpiece London, such as Best Jewellery Piece of the Fair for the 2016 Black Label Masterpiece IX “Winter Leaves Necklace”, as well as Outstanding Object Award for the Black Label Masterpiece XVIII “Peony Brooch”.
Winter Leaves Necklace
6 Celebrities that have been spotted wearing CINDY CHAO The Art Jewel pieces include Amy Adams, Salma Hayek, and most recently, Julia Roberts, who wore the “Architectural Earrings” and “Branch Bangle” as she presented the Best Picture Award at the 91st Academy Awards. In addition, Cindy Chao also worked with actress Sarah Jessica Parker in 2014 on the 2014 Black Label Masterpiece Butterfly Ballerina Brooch, which depicts a ballerina imitating a butterfly’s graceful beauty.