Finding beauty in a virus

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 03 August, 2005, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 03 August, 2005, 12:00am

Talented designers sometimes draw inspiration from the strangest places, and it was no different for jewellery designer Cecile Yau Ching-na, who came up with a new collection of pieces by looking at photos of viruses.

'I've always been a very curious person. So I asked a friend of mine, who is a virologist at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, what viruses looked like under the microscope. He sent me a photograph of the adenovirus and to me it looked like a black and white photo of a diamond,' Yau tells CitySeen. 'It occurred to me that viruses aren't that scary after all. Some can actually heal people, not like Sars. Viruses have changed our lives in their own ways, and they changed my view towards the universe.'

Yau, who has been making jewellery for eight years, completed her degree at the world renowned Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design in London, which has also produced such famed international designers as Alexander McQueen and Stella McCartney. Yau also won an award in the early 1990s in a national competition held by Britain's Royal Society of Art for a range of jewellery she designed for Japanese fashion brand Issey Miyake.

Yau is holding an exhibition at 1/F Devon House, Taikoo Place, Quarry Bay, until August 12. Everyone is welcome and, thankfully, no surgical masks are needed.