Jing Jing Cao is a London based jeweller, who caught my attention with her BA collection. Jing Jing attended the famous arts and design college Central Saint Martins, and this artistic background and degree has clearly served her well. In every collection and piece of Jing Jing’s jewellery you can clearly see the artist craftsmanship and talent that has gone into every piece. Jing Jing’s romantic jewellery is delicately designed, and the balance of light and shadows highlights the beautiful detailing.
Jing Jing’s BA collection draws inspiration from death, burial plots and monuments that we build to commemorate loved ones lost. Although her inspiration is a little bit morbid, Jing Jing’s collection has elements of spectacle, modernity and deathliness, which creates a unique and regal jewellery line. The statement pieces are reminiscent of something that you would imagine Anne Boleyn wearing, with the extravagant and feminine headpieces and gems.
Jing Jing’s jewellery caught critical attention in 2009 with the release of her collection, MiCHELE. The MiCHELE collection won the Harold Hobbs Memorial Process Award and in 2010 the Cultural Activities Committee of the United Nations Office in Geneva (UNOG) chose the collection for their exhibition, “The Real and the Virtual”. I caught up with Jing Jing to ask her about her jewellery and what its like to be an independent jewellery designer working in the creative industry.
How would you describe your style to someone who has never seen your jewellery collection before?
For my overall style I would say its coquettish jewellery that contains esoteric concepts, and carries out romantic prowess. For my BA collection, I would say it is a sculptural jewellery with an obsession with Victoriana, which steer well clear of any vintage aesthetic.
Where do you get your inspiration?
I am inspired by the huge collection of Victorian masterpieces in the V&A, and how Victorian art bring in the effect of light and shadow. I have created my BA jewellery collection to interpret Memento Mori in a different way through reflecting the interdependent relation between life and death. As the life and the death reunite, the two main pieces of the collection can be worn together as one piece.
Do you think your artistic background has helped you career?
All the artistic experiences and knowledge gained from my past has all contributed to my current fashion and jewellery career, especially during my days in Central Saint Martins. At Central Saint Martins I got to understood different directions and backgrounds of Jewellery and Accessories through research, and I got to establish my individual style and the ability to visualise images three-dimensionally.
What would your advice be for someone who is looking to break into the fashion world?
Be prepared to develop and explore new methods of production and to create fashion that challenges and pushes boundaries in fashion and lifestyle products. And also try to open up the mind of design into a new level to the fullest, and to attain as many zestful experiences as possible.