Chinese Contemporary Jewelry Design
There is a great discrepancy in what awaits the reader of Chinese Contemporary Jewelry Design since what you might expect is nothing at all compared to the reality of its content.
Chinese Contemporary Jewelry Design proposes that there has been a great increase in the productivity, interest, and design when it comes to Chinese jewelry produced within the past two decades, and while that may be true, the author presents a rather scholarly, text heavy thesis that does not live up to its title or its intent.
The reader should be expecting amazing images that exhibit this newly awakened interest in the art of jewelry making within mainland China, but alas, that is not the case. The book begins with a professorial introduction on the topic, which is followed by a large directory of these so called “new” designers who have created and participated in this renaissance.
Sadly, as with any book in this genre, context or some idea of comparison in scale is essential, and Cao has totally neglected to provide that very important facet. Not only does the book lack this context but most readers might be confused as to whether or not they are actually reading or seeing jewelry created by a jewelry designer or art pieces/sculptures by these artists. Any jewelry aficionado will most assuredly be confused as to what they are actually looking at since there are few times when the item is described or given a category such as bracelet, ring, necklace, or whatever in favor of a list of materials used to create these pieces.
At best this is an extremely dry read with very little relief by way of extraordinary images. Some readers might find it absurd that each of the many designers provide a resume of sorts and yet only one or two pieces of their artistry is offered as examples of this new contemporary jewelry movement.