Le Arti Orafe in conversation with Zhang Tianyi

Interview  /  Artists
Published: 06.08.2017
Zhang Tianyi Zhang Tianyi
Le Arti Orafe
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All my inspiration comes from my current life, this place or the people around me, or some of my own strange thoughts.
You are coming to Europe, in Florence, to study jewellery design and making. What was your knowledge of this art before arriving in Italy, and how has this knowledge changed after 3 years of study?
I have always liked handmade, which makes me have a kind of sense of reality. I think all the design is interlinked, but I am not very aware of the specific methods and techniques. After three years of study I have a new understanding of myself, which is what I expect.

What do you think of contemporary jewellery research in Europe? Do you think is very standardized?
I think the goldsmith in Europe is very focused and insisted, I think this is very elegant, for me different people will make a different thing, there is no standard.
Technology is not just about innovation, but also to accumulate experience.

Earring-Ring, 2016, 925 Sliver, Resin, Magnets, Photo by Matt Liao

What is the contemporary jewellery research situation in your country?
I am not very aware of China's current situation, but I know there are many young jewelry designers.

Did you find new sources of inspiration in Europe? Which ones?
All my inspiration comes from my current life, this place or the people around me, or some of my own strange thoughts.

Strange Glasses, 2015, 925 Sliver, Resin, Glass, Photo by Matt Liao

Have you had the opportunity to know literature, cinema, and general culture in Europe? Do you find that the great Chinese and European cultural traditions are very contradictory, or have you found aspirations that complement each other?
I like to watch movies also like to listen to the local story, I think China and Europe are completely different from the two cultures, but I think just different lifestyles, I think human nature is the same.

What are the aspects or topics you believe will need to develop in the future for your jewellery research?
I do not have a definite idea, it depends on my life at that time.

How is important for you to maintain a cultural identity rooted in Chinese history and tradition?
It's important to me! To understand a person or one thing, the first question is what is your name? Or what is this? The second question would be where did you come from? Or how did this come, why? We must know ourselves.

Experimental Product N°2, 2016, 925 Sliver, Photo by Matt Liao

What are your sources of inspiration/research in the field of art and jewellery? Books, magazines, internet ...?
Internet, exhibitions, magazines, books, and friends.

What are your future projects?
My final goal is to have a perfect studio, and now I need to make money…

About the Interviewee

I majored in graphic design in university but I like more creating with my own hands. it makes me feel real. My designs come from my daily life and the people around me. I prefer interesting design. Pure beauty gives me a sense of distance. I was walking on a pedestrian street around a beach in Los Vegas when I was 20 or something. There were lots of street artists. It was the first I felt art is so close. I like ancient cities so after graduation I came to Florence to start to learn seriously how to make the things in my head into real objects. I like the language and the culture. I feel so relaxed here. The passion for life and the romance you can see here keep me thinking constantly and  finding new things to create. / Zhang Tianyi

About the author

LAO - Le Arti Orafe Jewellery School, Florence
, an educational project. Established in 1985 by Giò Carbone, LAO was the first Italian school devoted to the study of jewellery culture, and to the contemporary practice in jewellery creation, and since the very beginning has encouraged and promoted a learning process emphasizing technical and professional skills, combined with artistic research and contemporary design. Since 1985 LAO have its headquarters in the very heart of Florence, in the Santo Spirito/San Frediano historic and artistic district, which still retains its own character and offers visitors and residents an intense human experience. The school have 5 beautiful and full equipped workshops, and 5 classrooms for design, CAD, gemmology and theoretical lessons. A very rich library had been set up along the year, with a huge number of books and catalogues on jewellery and applied arts.