Some bottle up negative emotion, other, such as our Global Young Talent Di Xin uses her traumatic experience of drowning as inspiration for her ‘The Process of Overcoming Fear’ jewellery collection. The Royal College of Art graduate enables wearers and the audience to resonate in the current environment, allowing people to immerse themselves in the jewellery world she created. Her work is now featured in the April issue of Harper’s Bazaar UK, allowing us all to experience how to transfer trauma into romance.
Tell us a bit about yourself, you’re originally from China, yet moved to The United Kingdom to complete a course in jewellery design at the prestigious Royal College of Art, what inspired you to move overseas and study fashion?
For me, fashion is more like an artistic medium that transcends language barriers, because designers show different stories, concepts and cultural backgrounds through fashion artworks. I come from Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region which is a gathering place for ethnic minorities of China, so I have experienced diverse cultures and languages since childhood, and I am full of interest in multiculturalism and fresh information. London, an international city with a long history, also it has a great influence in the world and owned top colleges, which has always inspired me to move overseas and study.
For the creation of your jewellery, you translated your personal trauma into unique designs, how did this process go?
This process is undoubtedly a great adventure, and it is not easy for me to relive my personal trauma. In order to overcome the fear of water, I relived this process countless times, after three months, I gradually got used to underwater activities. I used photography, installation, painting and other artistic creation methods to record this process. Then I combined with the physical state and feelings of the drowning person’s body to select the appropriate design elements and materials to complete artworks.
"This process is undoubtedly a great adventure, and it is not easy for me to relive my personal trauma. In order to overcome the fear of water, I relived this process countless times, after three months, I gradually got used to underwater activities."
You work with very interesting materials, how can we imagine the design process and what lead you to choose these materials?
Materials experiment is an important part of my design, and I always maintain the continuity of design concepts and materials. Based on my own experience and research, I selected materials such as glass, soft plastic and optical lens that can bring me the feelings of underwater like coldness, resistance, and blurred vision. Through such a complete system of atmospheric jewellery works, my goal is to enable the wearer and the audience fully resonate in the current environment and immerse themselves in the jewellery world I created.
“Materials experiment is an important part of my design, and I always maintain the continuity of design concepts and materials.”
What message do you wish to convey with your collection and how do you think it would make an impact on other people’s lives?
‘The process of overcoming fear’ is a courageous transformation of negative emotions into beautiful and dreamy feelings. This process is a mysterious, sacred, and romantic experience. Fears are not entirely about struggling in difficulties and helplessness. I hope to convey the courage to people that could enable them to look on, accept, and even heal their trauma from a different perspective. I am willing to name my collections type as atmosphere jewellery. I try to turn my experience into real jewellery combined with systematic and complete design, so that people can see more possibilities and stories behind jewellery, rather than simple body decorations.
What have you learnt during your time at university and what tips do you have for future jewellery design students?
Self-learning ability and self-orientation are extremely important during college study. Every project has lots of free space for giving play to the potential but learning how to control the progress and the direction of research is an ability that has to be exercised. It is more necessary to understand their interest clearly and make a good self-orientation. So that students could be able to keep their passion and ensure the completion of their artworks. I hope every student who loves jewellery design could be firm in their choice and maintain the enthusiasm for design.
“I hope to convey the courage to people that could enable them to look on, accept, and even heal their trauma from a different perspective.”
Discover Di Xin' full collection
Words by Lupe Baeyens