EN-SPACESHI press release


Designer Shi Yao Pays Homage to Childhood Dreams of Space and the Ancient World


We sat down with the artist himself to discuss his design philosophy, and to learn just how it is that childhood fantasies become wearable art.

Duality is the hallmark of designer Shi Yao’s first jewellery line. Obsessed with both ancient Chinese civilization and the far-reaching bounds of outer-space from a young age, history and futurism converge in his collection of handmade pieces. We sat down with the artist himself to discuss his design philosophy, and to learn just how it is that childhood fantasies become wearable art.

Between a childhood spent playing games around rocket ships and a school life spent learning ancient carving techniques, Shi Yao has always toed the line between centuries. So, when he quit his job to start a design house, it only made sense to incorporate both traditional Chinese influences as well as themes of futurism. Adopting traditional techniques but applying them to space-age designs, Shi Yao brings hand-sculpting into the new millenia.

Designs inspired by futurism and tech can often feel sterile. Most designers choose smooth materials and clean lines that call to minf the visual future set forth in the Jetsons. Shi Yao, by contrast, seems to have deliberately avoided these common visual markers of the theme, instead hand-carving each piece. This human element provides texture, and a warmth that can’t be recreated by machine. Using the lost wax method of hand carving wax to create silver casts that are then, themselves hand carved for further details; each carving is treated as a stand-alone art piece. A closer look at any SPACESHI item provides, through the attention to detail and the gentle strokes left behind from human intervention, that that is the truth. Each piece truly is a work of art.

This is no more obvious than with his Armor & Lion Dance collection, in which Shi Yao demonstrates a mastery of the ancient future. With hand- cast pendants created as a mix between the armour of the Tang dynasty, and a 21st century space suit, the collection seamlessly balances themes of the past and future.

Space suits are a theme common in Shi Yao’s work, and not without reason. Space exploration is the designers life-long dream, but that’s not the only personal touch he’s added to his work. His designs are peppered with references to his own personal mythology, one only has to look.

In his spare time, Shi Yao enjoys visiting museums and trying new sports, but more than anything, his joy in life is discovery; discovering interesting people and interesting things, creating an interesting life. “Even as adults when weget caught up in the busyness of life, we still have to dream. That’s why I chose to focus on the cosmic, to celebrate my my childhood, and to remind people not to forget their dreams, to enjoy life.”

Shi Yao never gave up on the dreams of his childhood, instead cast them in silver to share with all of us. Each of his pieces holds within it the tenderness of those dreams, a love for the history of ones home and a sense of wonder. And of course, a whole lot of silver. You can shop the entire SPACESHI collection now on BODY404

About BODY404:

A curated marketplace of fashion, accessories, and other unique creations from around the world. BODY404 is dedicated to celebrating independent artists and brands internationally, our primary goal to provide them with a platform to display their work for a global audience.



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