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Culture is an art you can wear

By Chen Nan (China Daily)

15:06, April 16, 2013

Yang Jing, graduate from the London College of Fashion, shows off her jewelry designs in the ongoing exhibition at Beijing's 798 Art Zone. (China Daily/Zou Hong)

As a child, Du Jiameng spent a lot of time watching people, from her friends in kindergarten, to neighbors, to strangers. Her parents thought their daughter would grow up to be a psychologist.

"In fact, I was just looking at the jewelry they were wearing," says Du. "The glittering ones attract me most."

Describing herself as a sensitive thinker good at telling stories, Du, 23, says it was her mother's jewelry, gifts from her grandmother or her father, which impressed her most.

"These pieces are full of stories and history," she says. "Jewelry in ancient China used great techniques, which I have always admired. But it is my personal feelings, memories and emotions that go into my designs."

These creations can be seen in Du's own line of jewelry, J&J, which she co-founded with Chinese painter-photographer Dong Jie, six months ago in London.

For the exhibition titled Transformation at VA Space in Beijing's 798 Art Zone, Du also brought in 10 young Chinese jewelry designers, who had studied or are studying at Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts London, where Du graduated.

"We believe that jewelry design in China, like the whole fashion world, is undergoing tremendous changes, both from the perspectives of designers and consumers," says Du, the curator of the exhibition.

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