"I’ve been using Swarovski crystals since my father was in the business."
Jacky Y. Chen
Born into the Taiwanese jewelry business, Jacky Y. Chen made his first necklace aged just nine years old, and has been working with crystals for thirty years. But it was his lifelong passion for contemporary art that catapulted his creativity onto the world stage. After starting small in 1998 with delicate ornamental boxes, in 2005 he began handcrafting large-scale luxury sculptures for the home—his signature Peacock being the most renowned. These pieces have since become highly collectible, owned by a raft of elite names and exhibited in museums across the globe, leading him to launch CasaBella in 2014. Here Jacky talks Royal Families, ‘jewelry for the home’, and teases us with news of a rather special forthcoming piece.
I was born into a world of glitter and glamour, but I went on to study business. I also have a Ph.D. in psychology.
I love home décor and filling my home with painting and sculpture. Artworks make a home come alive and brilliant sculptures make a house shine. My passion led to me creating large pieces inlaid with Swarovski crystals. I call it ‘jewelry for the home’.
We began by experimenting with flowers and little birds. I am interested in the beauty of nature, but I’m also fond of abstraction. After focusing on bird sculptures for some years, we are ready to unveil something different!
Connoisseurs of CasaBella artworks include quite a few important names, among them a European royal family and a renowned American investment guru.
We recently received an order from an A-lister, but while it’s a work in progress it is top secret. Shhh! It will take us a whole year to complete this unique masterpiece.
CasaBella doesn’t interfere with the ideas behind an individual artist’s piece. The artist will develop the concept, while CasaBella provides the techniques to realize it.
It took us two years to problem-solve the Great Dragon (Dong Chin), owing to its curved shape. Experience has enabled us to reach a new level of technical prowess.
The most challenging piece we’ve ever created is Sparkling Blossom. It’s crafted from metal and pavéd with 170,000 Swarovski crystals. At a height of nearly a meter and a half, with delicate, sprawling branches and blooming flowers, we needed to be meticulous about its structure and joints.
I’ve been using Swarovski crystals since my father was in the business. Once I decide on the interplay of color in the sculpture, our in-house designers select the perfect crystals. My personal favorites are: Crystal Satin, Crystal Moonlight, Crystal Golden Shadow and Crystal Silver Night.