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Show RCA 2019

Yilin Wang

Show RCA work

Major project:

Silver Maiden

Silver Maiden, an undergarment composed of silver wire. When one wears it, the embossing leaves a mark on the part of the body it occupies both decoratively and ornamentally. Detailing this, I photographed the traces the object left on the body and exposed these images onto silver-plated sheet back. Exhibiting this work, I noticed people hold and touch the piece in a delicate and careful manner, as one does with an object made of silver wire. The material – since it looks extremely delicate – reveals its 'other' when it’s able to emboss skin in such rough and brutal ways, the duality of the object and the cognitive dissonance of the observer when the object’s nature appears without disguise.

Over the course of my project, I started to question too if the embossing is also a way to wear jewellery.
Women’s privacy in modern society can be ruthlessly priced and traded. For example, in Asia, there is 'Nude Loaning' (where money lenders offering services like 'Afterpay' demand that customers send naked selfies as collateral for their loans), the sale of women’s used undergarments, voyeuristic public photos, etc. – no matter if a person actively or passively contributes to this explicit economy, they are engaging with the commercialising trend of female intimacy and privacy in a capitalistic era: an exacerbation of priced female objectification. 

As an interpretation, I started to do body-prints with my body and the decorative embossing. Compared with canvas-base or paper-base, I chose silk as the material to use as it's formally much much closer to the nude body, used as the fabric of choice for female night skirts and pyjamas. After creating the patterns between silk and body, the body-print itself turns into an extension of a female’s privacy. It records the action of the individual in a certain time and moment of intimacy, marked with the textures of skin. If it can be traded and sold as a commodity, can we also display it without privacy to the public in a gallery? Does exhibition reinstate control to the female creator?


  • Yilin Wang is a young jewellery artist based in London. After she completed her Bachelor's degree at the Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing, her current practice and research was developed during her studies at the Royal College of Art from 2017 to 2019.

    As a female artist, Yilin seeks to explore the relationship of crafts and their fragility within concepts of Feminism, Humanitarianism and nature.

    As a jeweller, her pieces are often influenced by the organic shapes and inherent symbolism of the natural world.

    She seeks to create jewellery that can be used to connect personal identity to the object-orientated life of modernity, exploring a medium where the co-dependency of nature and human emotion exists.

  • Previous degrees

  • BA Jewellery Design, Central Academy of Fine Arts, Beijing, China, 2017
  • Experiences

  • Jewellery designer's assistant, Sarah Madeleine Bru, London, 2018; Curator – 'Absent Design', Time Art Museum, Beijing, 2017; Jewellery design internship, CHJ Jewellery, Shantou, 2015
  • Exhibitions

  • 'Information Point', Lovaas Project, Munich, 2019; 'ID', Bloomsburry Gallery, London, 2019; 'Absent Design', Time Art Museum, Beijing, 2017; 'Audi Design Exhibition', Audi China, Beijing, 2017
  • Awards

  • Goldsmiths’ Precious Metal Grant Award, 2019; Outstanding Graduation Work Award, Central Academy of Fine Arts (Beijing), 2017; Postgraduate Scholarship, China Scholarship Council, 2017
  • Sponsors

  • China Scholarship Council, The Goldsmiths' Center
Royal College of Art