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Artist Statement by Ariel Tian

I love handicrafts because each design is imbued with my soul, energy, and message. But in China, where I grew up, crafts weren’t considered decent work compared with business and government. Like most other kids, my dream was to study at a prestigious university. So though I loved crafts, I buried it in the bottom of my heart. 

When I was 16, I discovered a spiritual practice called Falun Dafa (Falun Gong). I felt that its teachings of truthfulness, compassion, and forbearance were a powerful source of energy and peace. Just like craft, it brings my soul wonder and warmth, but at a totally different level.

But out of jealousy and misunderstanding, the Chinese regime decided to make Falun Dafa illegal in 1999. Hundreds of thousands have been tortured to death in the ongoing persecution. But living under information censorship, I didn’t know what was true and what was false. With a lot of confusion and fear, I buried this practice at the bottom of my heart, just as I had buried my favorite craft.

Later, I entered Peking University as a MBA student. In 2010, as an exchange student at New York University’s Stern Business School, I finally learned the truth about Falun Gong’s situation in China. I was heartbroken, but resolved to bring the spiritual practice back into my life.

I want to share with you the peace, beauty, and strength I have discovered within from my personal cultivation practice, and do so via my favorite language: handcrafted jewelry. Each piece of my jewelry is a piece of my soul, and represents the courage and dignity of faith.

(Ariel, founder of Yun Boutique. Photo by Benny Zhang Studio at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.)