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gel-e-lua

Q&A with Gel E Lua Designer

Jiang Xingyi, Founder of Gel E Lua

Graduated from Beijing Institute of Fashion Technology with an MA in jewelry design, she is good at creatively combining a variety of new techniques to design futuristic jewelry. She has rich practical experience in 3D printing technology and injects visual tension and story atmosphere into accessories through her infinite imagination on 3D objects.

Framing the abstract with new-age futurism, jewelry brand Gel E Lua creates accessories that generate a link to another world with a message of self-expression and exploration. Designer Jiang Xingrui uses their 3D avatar and mascot, GELA, to establish human connection in a soci al landscape rife with disconnect.

Delving into dreams, the origins of GELA, and how the post-millennial era has influenced fashion and inclusivity within young women, Jiang breaks down his inspirations for the brand and the struggles of authenticity in a space saturated with copy-cat jewelry brands. Irene from 404 sits down with the brain behind the innovative line in this intimate Q&A and discusses how Gel E Lua aims to bridge the gap between the digital universe and the real world.

Irene:

Why did you decide to create a jewelry brand?

 

Jiang Xingyi:

I actually had no particular intention to make jewelry. I like to think of designs, and let the form kind of manifest on its own.

The idea for GELA -- I originally used for my graduation project as a prototype.

When I started the brand, I knew I wanted the line to have a certain spirit, a powerful feeling. Like a warrior, but with a more delicate & gentle essence to her.

She has strength on the outside and vulnerability inside.

Irene:

Your brand's avatar, GELA, she seems to embody that gentleness & innocence in her design.

In most digital art or in popular films, virtual androids have a bleak, steely inhuman look to them, but GELA is a spirited teenage girl.

Was this on purpose?

Jiang Xingyi:

In a way, yes. I wanted GELA to connect with people, so it was important for her to have authenticity & for people to feel that they could relate to her. Instead of a dystopian, disconnected world, I wanted to depict a futuristic digital reality where people are connected, in harmony, and able to evolve. There is a lot of emotional separation between futurism and humanity that's created in the media and we try to stay away from that. We wanted GELA to feel as real as the brand.

Irene:

Can you talk about how you found the inspiration to start the brand and a bit of what your design process was like?

 

Jiang Xingyi:

There is no logic in it. My design language is very free, organic. I see a picture in my head and I like to try to bring it to life. For me, there are no rules to follow, no limits.

With some of my pieces, there are butterfly elements, but it's not a butterfly. A few may look like flowers, but they're not. They weren't created to be those things really, but the viewer finds their own inspiration in the design. My designs are not based on anything earthly or fixed; they are more abstract. I enjoy working that way. We spent a lot of time building the brand story & the atmosphere. It's one that captures innocence and rebelliousness at the same time. We love that sense of conflict-- the visual contrast and opposition make it exciting.

Through Gel E Lua, I feel like I've been breaking free from my own psychological habits and defenses, learning to accept every part of myself and reduce inner conflict.

Irene:

Which products do you feel are resonating most with audiences? Why do you think that is?

 

Jiang Xingyi:

Probably the love necklaces and "virtual toys". I think because of Y2K's resurgence and the "hot girl" trend being so popular, it reflects inclusiveness and social progress in a way. No matter your personality or background, every girl is included and allowed to be multidimensional.

Irene:

How do you come up with these fantastical elements out of thin air, and then able to turn around and make it into something tangible?

 

JIANG XINGYI:

Every time I dream, it's like watching a movie. It's surreal. I have lucid dreams. Inside the dream, I recognize that it's a dream, and I think, 'This is so beautiful.' I just need to look at it a few more times. When I wake up, I'm stunned.

Irene:

The dreams you have can be related to what you watch, what you read, and so on.

 

Jiang Xingyi:

Yes, but some of my dreams come out of nowhere. Anyway, I don't watch too much TV, but I like to go to exhibitions and see artwork. I'm probably not what you imagine as a designer. Some designers are very academic. They like to say where they came from, the genre they're in, their circle. There is not really a circle I exist in right now.

Popularity isn't a focus, though. I design what I like. I'm not interested in just following trends or neglecting my passions for the sake of making money. Gel E Lua is a form of expression, and that's most important to me and the mission of this brand.

Irene:

Do you think that nowadays art lacks originality?

 

Jiang Xingyi:

I see plenty of inspired art, but sometimes I feel that it has changed from a designer's model to a plagiarism model. The hardest thing isn't making money, but not giving up a dream when you encounter obstacles. You continue to persevere.