Artist Statement by Annita Bao

Jewelry is an exquisite thing. Through a tiny vessel, it’s able to convey vast worlds of meaning. As a designer, every piece of jewelry is a little story. I use it to tell stories of the soul, and make it a container into which I can pour my own spiritual world. My process of creation is a process of internal cultivation. Before coming up with a new design, I meditate, opening myself to inspiration and wisdom. When I start to feel a resonance with nature, heaven and earth, and humanity, I can make works of art that touch and delight. 

Annita Bao, designer of Yun Boutique

My designs are inspired by my own process of internal cultivation in Falun Dafa, a Buddha-school meditation practice that I learned in my childhood as I fell in love with art. I began studying jewelry design in 2007, at a time when my family was going through intense pressure and persecution. Despite the pain and injustice, I was able to see for myself the transformative power and wisdom of China’s divine cultural traditions, and I learned to grow and transform my own work through the values of integrity, kindness, and fortitude.

Chinese culture is about understanding the essence and meaning of things, and this idea is reflected in my design. I think the only art that counts is the art that moves your heart. When I look upon a new piece, it’s only when I feel a resonance inside that I feel it’s a successful work. Handcrafted jewelry has to transmit meaning, belief, and ideas. I want to use it to express moral culture — to create things of true beauty that represent underlying structures of truth. If something is only beautiful on the surface, and has no meaning, then it’s empty.

In China, the earliest jewelry was deeply religious, incorporating Taoist and celestial motifs and iconography. What animated such work was an attempt to capture the essence of the world, and simultaneously a reverence for a truth that lies beyond it. The result of this striving created objects of sublime refinement. This is the process I wish to capture in my own creations.

 

Photo by Laure Fu

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