Birmingham Institute of Art & Design graduate Olivia Shu-Chun Yao will be joining ARTS THREAD at Mokspace this month for our East Meets West: Art & Design Now exhibition. Opening on 24 April, the show will feature the work of up-and-coming art and design talents from China, Taiwan, Korea and Japan.
For the Mokspace exhibition, Olivia will be showing her More than Flowers collection of interlinking curling shapes in pastel-coloured resin or silver, caught by magnets to create an ever-changing jewellery piece.
For her MA jewellery collection, Olivia drew inspiration from clouds. Using Nuno felt fabric, wool fleece and silk fibres, Olivia weaves and felts beautiful large scale, dramatic pieces. Currently working as a freelance designer, Olivia aims to one day open her own design studio.
We spoke to Olivia to learn more about her work.
ARTS THREAD: Tell us your background and how you became interested in your chosen
Olivia Shu-Chun Yao: I studied economics and accounting for my undergraduate degree, which had nothing to do with art or design. However, driven by my interest in silversmithing, I began self-studying in Taiwan and I ended up traveling overseas to England to study an MA in jewellery and silversmithing at the School of Jewellery BIAD.
AT: Where do you draw your inspiration from?
OSY: My inspirations comes from everywhere. I wouldn’t describe cultural heritage as a factor in my creative process, but instead I believe it is my cultural heritage which brings out my individuality. With individual opinions artists can create uniqueness.
AT: Why do you think art and design from the Far East is becoming more prominent?
OSY: I think it is related to economic power. This is because East Asian countries are relatively richer than before, plus more and more oriental students have come to study art and design in Europe. The European art market has started understanding and recognising oriental artists.
East Meets West: Art & Design Now! runs from 24 April – 6 May at Mokspace.