Ziye Cao is a jewellery designer, maker, and artist. After completing her undergraduate degree from the Central Academy of Fine Arts (Beijing) in 2019, she worked as a product designer in Shanghai for two years, with clients including Starbucks and Unilever. In 2021, she started a Master’s degree in Jewellery & Metal at the Royal College of Art. Ziye recently exhibited her work at London Craft Week. Her research and practice are based on painting, poetry, and continuous observation of nature, as well as related research into aesthetic theory. In practice, she has a foundation in sculpting, 3D modelling software (Rhino, Blender), metal, woodworking, and clay sculpture.
Like a Dream - Last Night Wind Howled With Light Shower
Li, Qing-Zhao (Song Dynasty)
Last night the wind howled with a light shower, I’m still hangover despite my heavy slumber.
Ask for the maid who rolls up the shades ‘How was Haitang?’, she says blossoming still.
Don’t you know, don’t you know?
Tis the season reds ebb and greens flow.
Medium:Sterling Silver, Enamel, Zircon
Like a Dream-The dusk at the river arbor I often recall
Li, Qing-Zhao (Song Dynasty)
The dusk at the river arbor I often recall, I lost my way with a drunk.
Once I came home late boating, unfortunately stuck in a lotus flow.
How so, How so?
I scared a beach of gulls and egrets ho!
Medium:Sterling Silver, Enamel, 24K Gold
Sent North in Night Rain
Li, Shang-yin (Tang Dynasty)
You asked the time of my return, but there is not a time
On Mountain Ba, the night rain swells the autumnal pools
When can we cut the candle wick by the west window together again?
And I tell you about the night rain on Mountain Ba
Medium:Agentium Silver, Sterling Silver, Enamel
Song of the White Snow: Seeing Magistrate Wu off upon His Return to the Capital
Cen Shen ( Tang Dynasty)
The north wind swept the earth turning grass into white, snow falls in August over Hu territory.
As if the spring breeze blew overnight, the trees were like a thousand pear blossoms.
Snowflakes fly into the curtain, wet the bed, fox fur is not warm to cover the brocade, quilt is too thin.
Generals and soldiers were too cold to open their bows, and their armor too cold to put on.
The boundless desert is thick with ice, and the sky is condensed with melancholy clouds.
The wine was placed in the coach's tent for the farewell dinner, and an ensemble of Huqin, Pipa, and Qiang flute was played to cheer the party.
In the evening, snow fell in front of the gate, the red flags were frozen and the wind could not pull.
I sent you go back to the capital at the east gate of Luntai Bade, when you leave, the snow-covered Tianshan Road.
The twists and turns of the mountain have not seen your figure, and only a line of horseshoe marks are left on the snow.
Medium:Recycled Silver, Enamel
last chapter of 'Diamond Sutra'
All conditioned dharmas.
Are like dreams, illusions, bubbles, shadows, Like dew drops,
and a lightning flash: Contemplate them thus.
Medium:Silver, cooper with silver plate
Ziye's current work explores these keywords: the natural world, landscape, poetry, narrative, and mood. The main techniques used in the work are silver welding, casting, carving, and enamel (Plique-à-jour, Cloisonné)
The reason that Ziye has become a creator and continues to learn art is to convey the beautiful moments captured in her heart and deepest imagination. She always considers what is universal, what is classic and can stand the test of time, what kind of expression can arouse the resonance and understanding of others, and what is straightforward without needing additional explanation.
Artists and art movements that have influenced her include Alphonse Mucha and René Lalique, Art Nouveau and Impressionism, as well as traditional Chinese ink and fine brush painting. When learning about and appreciating this work, Ziye found that although it was made a long time ago, and she doesn't have the same culture and life history as their creators, she can still be fascinated by it and appreciate it when it comes to a contemporary audience through the river of time. Thinking in this way, Ziye also wants to make work that shows similar emotions through her efforts and exploration.
Since childhood, a combination of Oriental thought and culture and the experience of learning about Western painting and aesthetics have enabled Ziye to acquire her own unique common cognition of Eastern and Western aesthetics. She wants to combine researching and studying traditional craft and modelling with an understanding of contemporary art movements to create artworks that keep pace with time and have an Oriental artistic perspective.
In her work on this theme, Ziye wants to convey a feeling of joy for life, the joy of being able to experience natural changes and express these experiences. In China, where she grew up, today's society is fast-paced, people are often compared with each other, and the pressure is huge. However, after Ziye studied Chinese Buddhist wisdom, she chose to make complex and handmade works that require a significant amount of time to make. In the process, she gets close to nature and experiences the energy and emotion brought by flowers, trees, water, and sunshine. She eliminates the noise and disturbance of fame and fortune from the outside world and opens up a pure land in her heart. She spends more time with herself, asks herself questions repeatedly and seeks answers, and explores her energy and direction from within. From this perspective, this set of works is the condensation of her current life experience. The work she has made in this way makes Ziye happy and proud.