Jing Ju in retro-futuristic art, an iconic jeweler + more

Jing Ju in retro-futuristic art, an iconic jeweler + more

Jing Yu knew she was on to something as she realized she wouldn’t trade her life for anyone else’s. You are the founder of Studio JUJU, a spatial design practice based in Queens, New York, creating temporary and permanent spaces that push the boundaries of sensory and immersive experiences. Throughout her career, Ju’s work has oscillated between creative scales and disciplines, borrowing from sculpture and architecture to create unique brand experiences that are both functional and visually appealing. All of this translates simultaneously into her other role as Senior Designer, Global Creative Visual Merchandising at Tiffany & Co.

When someone makes their own path, there often aren’t many examples to learn from, but Ju looks up to her friends who provide the necessary support and inspiration we all crave. “Not everyone understands what I’m doing, but my friends are my collective mentors. They share their wisdom as I explore this new journey,” she says. “We bond over cooking dinners, exploring museums and enjoying sports together. Effie is a professional negotiator, Chloe cheers me on, and Shunyao’s savvy business advice fuels my entrepreneurial growth. It’s amazing how they’ve shaped me.”

blurred photo of a woman with dark hair pulled back and red lips

Jing Yu

Recalling the first artwork that left a lasting impression, Ju describes her seminal encounter with Qi Baishi’s Ink Wash Shrimp. Just a few quick brushstrokes bring identical crustaceans to life, giving each its own visual momentum. Ju says, “Like jazz, ink painting doesn’t involve a lot of editing or drafting, making the process very spontaneous. You can feel the presence of the artist in every stroke. That sense of being present and centered during the creative process resonates with me.” Those who have the opportunity to experience Ju’s spatial work are likely to feel similarly in the midst of her spaces.

While many creators seem to shy away from the idea of ​​collecting tangible memories, Ju embraces it. For her, things like handwritten letters from friends and family — even scorecards from games — make her feel more connected to how she’s seen through their eyes. “These tangible expressions balance my occasional negative thoughts about myself. “For me, handwritten letters are like the language in ‘Arrival’ – they bring a scent, visuals, emotions and a sense of time, they hold special moments in my heart,” Yu explained.

We are happy to have Jing Ju with us for this week Friday five!

graphic art of two eyeballs

Art/Photo: Miki Kim

She is a South Korean tattoo artist and illustrator, and I love her funky and surreal style. Her creations delve into psychedelic realms, challenging societal norms and drawing on personal experiences and a fascination with technology. Its retro-futuristic aesthetic, characterized by bold lines and vivid colors, stands out. What’s impressive is that Miki is completely self-taught, driven by a passion for Japanese culture, cartoons and films of the 80s and 90s, strengthening her presence in the art world. I found that her art subtly incorporates symbols of feminism, echoing a belief in a female-led future that I resonate with greatly. Her work is a testament to creativity and cultural fusion.

long horizontal piece of art with block-like shapes in pastels and various patterns

Photo/Art: ZHANG XIAOLI

I recently visited ZHANG XIAOLI’s debut solo exhibition in North America. MAZE STRICTLY merges Eastern aesthetics with scientific concepts, creating ethereal worlds through delicate brushwork on silk and paper – Periodic table, Mobius strip, explosion, black hole, cell division, moon phases, neural networks, LEGO bricks, landscape with ink, vascular network, metronome… So fascinated by poetic experiments, which describe the spheres of free interest between distortions and imagination. Looking at this art, I felt like I finally found someone who embodied the artist dream I once had. Miss the focused energy of little Jing who dreams of being an artist, painting in the attic. I persistently search for that special creative spark in my past and future career. The only difference is that art is open to interpretation, design is not.

woman with dark hair and big glasses works with jewelry on a table

Photo: Duane Michals, Vogue, December 1974

Since 1969, Peretti has revolutionized jewelry with its unique designs, challenging tradition. Beyond her timeless creations, I’m in awe of her workspace—a lighted haven adorned with plants and random objects. Her creative sphere, filled with mood boards and college, reflects the brilliance of Peretti’s mind, making the journey through her career and art truly fascinating.

large oval shaped mirror that reflects a living space

4. My living space

I adore a TV-free living room, encouraging a life of active engagement through creating and reading rather than passive viewing. The space pictured, ideally filled with plenty of plants, embodies this philosophy. The absence of a television invites a lifestyle centered around creativity and knowledge, fostering an environment where the living energy of living things takes precedence.

Curved gold ring with a hanging diamond on a white background

This unique jewelry brand, Niessing, redefines tradition with a strong focus on techniques and engineering. I find it interesting how they challenge conventional diamond and gemstone settings. This ring looks like two rings are setting the diamond, but it is a single ring with fine arcs that organically secures the gem. Niessing actually created the first tension ring to hold a diamond without a setting over 40 years ago, the stone seemed to float freely with its brilliance shining from all sides. Today, it is considered among the greatest design classics and is included in many museums and collections around the world. Personally, I never wanted to get a diamond ring, but after learning about this engineering fun fact and how challenging it is to let a diamond lie, I began to appreciate its clear shape and resonate with the idea of ​​focusing on the essentials in life.

Work by JUJU Studio:

modern dancer in front of a big puffy emerald green face with open mouth

Photo: Courtesy of David Gannon Photography

Set Design for Bad Binch TONGTONG Fashion Spring/Summer 2023 \\\ At the heart of JUJU Studio’s set design was a large inflatable sculpture designed to embody the essence of the revered fashion designer. This central element exuded mystery and creativity, breaking away from convention revolving around extreme self-love, creating a cultish atmosphere. Graceful dancers moved around a larger-than-life recreation of designer Terrence Zhou’s face, imbuing the event with a mesmerizing energy. JUJU Studio’s designs embodied their commitment to pushing boundaries, symbolizing a unique perspective and leaving an indelible impression on the fashion industry.

modern dancer in front of a big puffy emerald green face with open mouth

Photo: Courtesy of David Gannon Photography

interior space with two large pink sofas, a silver coffee table and large wall mirror

Photo: David Luo

Miss Circle Immersive Flagship Store in New York \\\ Spanning 2,600 square feet over two floors, the Sensory Flagship Store is a visual marvel. Its inviting atmosphere is created through a segmented floor plan, arches and a captivating upper level that encourages exploration. Notable features include a versatile sliding counter and a range of custom textured beige walls that exude a sleek, modern aesthetic. Designed with the customer in focus, this innovative retail space captivates and engages, offering a unique Sensory experience at every corner.

Kelly Beall is director of brand content at Design Milk. The Pittsburgh-based writer and designer has had a deep love for art and design for as long as she can remember, from Fashion Plates to MoMA and beyond. When she’s not searching for visual arts, she’s likely sharing her favorite finds with others. Kelly can also be found tracking down new music, teaching herself to play the ukulele, or on the couch with her three pets – Bebe, Rainey and Remy. Find her @designcrush on social media.

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