2013 Beijing International Jewelry Art Biennale


2013 Beijing International Jewelry Art Biennale

A look back at the exhibition in Beijing and 2013 Beijing Design Week.

Group Host: Ezra Satok-Wolman

Members: 45
Latest Activity: Jun 10

     For those of you who don’t know me, my name is Ezra Satok-Wolman, a Canadian jewelry artist from the Toronto area.  I have started this group to share information about the 2013 Beijing International Jewelry Art Exhibition (BIJAE) that took place from September 23rd to October 12th.  From the very announcement of the exhibition and call for entry, there has been inaccurate and little information available about this event and I hope to present a thorough recap.  I had hoped to write this post sooner, however during a seven week period I travelled to the 2013 Beijing Design Week (BJDW) in China, the Enjoia’t Awards and Joya in Barcelona, and Sieraad Art Fair in Amsterdam.  It gives me great pleasure to finally be able to write about my experience and share some photos which I'll post in sections over the coming weeks.   

Part 1

 Last summer I received an invitation from the organizers of the BIJAE to exhibit six pieces in the show.  I had already been considering submitting to the call for entry, but had yet to decide how I felt about sending six of my pieces, unaccompanied, to Beijing.  I envisioned a logistical nightmare and was reluctant to say the least.  Upon receiving the invitation I began to think about it a bit differently, and the idea to travel to China and attend the event became something much more appealing.  After serious consideration I decided to commit to both the exhibition and the trip to Beijing for BIJAE and BJDW.

I began to do research to prepare for my trip to China, and BJDW.  One of the more intriguing aspects of the exhibition was that I knew beforehand that jewelry in China was not what we typically think of, and that jewelry in precious metals had just come into the mainstream marketplace.  Having travelled to Hong Kong in 2009 for an exhibition, I was aware of the policy shift by the Chinese government that year to begin to allow citizens to purchase and invest in gold and silver.  Until that point, precious metals were a state asset, and therefore a jewelry market (in the Western sense) was non existent.  Silk, Jade, and copper are some examples of the materials used in traditional Chinese jewelry.  In 2009 that all began to change, and a “modern” jewelry market started to develop in the country.  With this in mind, the idea of participating in the first international “Art Jewelry” exhibition ever to take place in China was thrilling. 

Here are some key facts about the exhibition itself -

Location: The World Art Museum, China Millennium Monument (CMM)

Organizing Committee: Beijing Institute of Fashion Technology (BIFT), China Academy of Fine Art (CAFA)

Initially slated to be held art Art Area D-798, the organizers of the exhibition and BJDW decided to move the exhibition to The CMM.  As it turns out, this couldn't have been better for the exhibition as the CMM was home base for BJDW and the principal location for many of the BJDW events including the opening ceremony.  The CMM (pictured below) is an enormous museum, designed in the likeness of a sun dial, that is home to numerous museums and galleries.  The galleries are located throughout the multi-level rotunda, and include the World Art Museum and the recently opened Museum of Digital Arts.  Located on the top level of the Museum, the BIJAE was the crown jewel of the CMM contextually and geographically.  On opening night of BJDW the attendees were funnelled through the exhibition in order to arrive at the cocktail reception, resulting in approximately 2000 guests and invitees meandering through the jewelry exhibition on that evening alone.

The exhibition featured the work of 329 artists, of which 60 were invited, from 45 countries, and displayed more than 1000 pieces of jewelry.  The exhibition is officially the largest exhibition to date of contemporary jewellery.  I have put together a document that lists all of the selected artists that can be downloaded or viewed using this link.  You can also read the official Exhibition Foreword from Guo Qiang, Dean of the Department of Product Design, Beijing Institute of Fashion Technology here.

This blog will be continued in the weeks to come. Please join this group to get the updates.

Discussion Forum

Part 5 - Beijing Design Week and The Great Wall of China

Started by Atelier Hg. Last reply by Atelier Hg Jun 10. 7 Replies

My last post about my trip to China focusses on the events that took place after the exhibition and conference concluded.  With Design Week just underway, I headed out in the morning with Ruudt Peters and Jamie Bennett.  Our destination was Dashilar, a well known “Hutong” or village in the heart of Beijing, and one of the main areas for Design Week events and exhibitions.  After locating the narrow passage that lead into Dashilar, the first stop was at Ubi Gallery.The gallery itself is…Continue

Tags: Great, Satok-Wolman, Wall, China, Mitianyu

Part 4 - Beijing Excursions

Started by Atelier Hg Feb 21. 0 Replies

Beijing is an amazing city that has been undergoing tremendous growth since its successful bid for the 2008 Olympic Games.  You can almost watch it happening before your eyes.  It is by far the largest city I have ever visited, and home to a staggering population of approximately 17.5 million people, equivalent to half of the entire population of Canada.  Modern architecture can be found throughout the city, but much of the historical architecture of China’s centuries old political centre remain.  In addition you can still find numerous Hutong or ‘neighborhood villages’ dotted throughout Beijing, that have yet to experience modern development.With the…Continue

Tags: Ezra, Satok, Wolman, 2013, Bienalle

Part 3 - The Conference

Started by Atelier Hg Feb 10. 0 Replies

The Biennale had a conference component, comprised of a lecture series, a round table discussion, and several scheduled cultural excursions.  In the afternoon following the exhibition opening, the conference began with presentations from nine of the artists in the exhibition, and Marie-Jose Van den Hout, owner of Galerie Marzee.Following along with the theme of “Identity”, many of the presentations focussed on the artists themselves and the emotions and experiences they convey through their…Continue

Part 2 - Additional Images

Started by Atelier Hg. Last reply by Atelier Hg Feb 3. 2 Replies

Additional selected images from the 2013 Beijing International Jewelry Art Exhibition.  The first four images are pieces from Chinese artists, including Jie Sun, a Chinese artist living and working in Amsterdam (and fellow Crafthauser) -The Inner Rotunda, World Art Museum, China Millenium Monument, BeijingAbove: Li Zhonghao (China)Above: Kuo I-Hsuan (Taiwan, China)…Continue

Tags: Week, Ezra, Satok-Wolman, Design, Exhibition

Part 2 - The Exhibition

Started by Atelier Hg Jan 31. 0 Replies

I would like to start Part 2 by addressing some of the basic questions that people have had regarding traveling to, and exhibiting in China.  First of all, everything about this trip was complicated, period.  Being a seasoned traveller, and having lived in a foreign country for an extended period of time, I wasn't expecting anything on this trip to be easy.  The jewelry exhibition had one set of challenges, while organizing an itinerary for Beijing Design Week (BJDW) presented another set of challenges all together.  With respect to transporting my pieces, anyone who has had experience with importing and exporting jewelry knows how complicated it can be in one’s native language, let alone in a completely foreign one. That was just one facet of the planning required.  Information in general was scarce or just plain…Continue

Comment Wall


You need to be a member of 2013 Beijing International Jewelry Art Biennale to add comments!

Comment by Atelier Hg on February 5, 2014 at 9:42am


Thank you for taking the time to read and comment :)  My main motivation for writing this was to shed some light on exactly what happened in Beijing, as I knew there were hundreds of artists who contributed their work, and weren't able to attend.  This was an important exhibition, and the first of what should develop into an international biennial event.  I hope people will be able to look back at this when thinking about applying to future editions, and see what this exhibition was all about, and what was accomplished through the conference program.

Comment by Kelly Nedderman on February 4, 2014 at 1:29pm

First off, Thank you so much for writing and posting images for those of us who couldn't go ourselves! I had a few pieces in the show. It was very exciting to be included and it was also a great surprise to receive such a nice catalog of the show afterwards. Very unexpected. Last semester I had several Chinese and Taiwanese graduate students. Their faces lit up with so much excitement seeing the book and being able to see jewelry from their homeland. It was very new for them to see such a collection from China, especially since so much focus is on the US and Europe jewelry movements.

Comment by Atelier Hg on January 25, 2014 at 8:59am


posts about the exhibition and call for entry were on both Klimt02 and Crafthaus.  The organizers have communicated their intentions of hosting the Beijing International Jewelry Art Exhibition every two years, presumably to coincide with Beijing Design Week.  This year was Beijing Design Week's third edition as a biennial event.

Comment by Kimberly Nogueira on January 24, 2014 at 6:14pm

i am looking foward to your upcoming posts too--what a fascinating experience you must have had!

Comment by Katja Toporski on January 24, 2014 at 12:17pm

I briefly considered joining this event too, but did not have the time for it. Thank you so much for having participated in such an adventure AND for taking the time to share it with fellow crafthausers. Looking forward to your postings!

Comment by Andrea Velázquez Calleja on January 24, 2014 at 11:56am

Hi Ezra!

How are you?

Thank you Brigitte Martin to invite me join this group. I new something but not much about this fair. Few friends were showing their work there. Waiting for your pics and impressions to come. I hope you are doing fine. Hugs!

Comment by Carolina Cole on January 24, 2014 at 11:39am

Hi Ezra,

How did you find out about this show in particular?

Comment by Jen Townsend on January 24, 2014 at 11:32am

Looking forward to seeing the upcoming posts!

Comment by Atelier Hg on January 24, 2014 at 10:55am

I just want to let everyone know that Part 2 will focus on the exhibition and conference, including images from both.  In Part 3 I will present content from the other Beijing Design Week events. Thanks to everyone that has joined the group!

Comment by Sandra Murray on January 23, 2014 at 7:03pm
This is very interesting!

Members (44)


A modern metalsmith/metal artist can be found working in traditional metals as well as in nontraditional materials. The designs can range from the classic to the extravagant, and the techniques can either be centuries old or decidedly current.

The wide range of expression preferences, design options, materials, and processes has lead within our field to unfavorable misconceptions, misunderstandings and in some cases even outright disdain between artists. Can the metal and jewelry field overcome its division and send out a much-needed signal?

We appreciate and respect our historical past and acknowledge that current materials have a rightful place in jewelry/object making!

Arriving at this message is the goal of this traveling exhibition opening at the SNAG conference in Boston 2015, Velvet da Vinci, San Francisco, CA - Aug 19 - Sept 20, 2015, Equinox Gallery, San Antonio, TX - Oct 16 - Nov 15, 2015, Baltimore Jewelry Center, Baltimore, MD - Dec 11, 2015 - Jan 08, 2016, Brooklyn Metal Works, Brooklyn, NY - Feb 5 - Mar 4, 2016.

DETAILS on exhibition premise, call for artists, submission guidelines.....

Rachel and Brigitte will be appearing on the wonderful Jay Whaley Metalsmith Benchtalk Radio Show, talking about the Co:Operation Garnish project, how they came up with the idea, what the project is about and the plans moving forward.

The radio show will be LIVE on air September 25, 2014 @ 6PM EST / 3 PM Pacific.


Listeners can call in during the show via phone, skype, or directly connect via the blog talk website.

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