Mason Tsai Intro
A Dreamlike Journey through Time and Space
If we say that design begins with the observation of everyday life and is the condensation of the maturing experience, then the environment that surrounds us, which is constantly changing, and the new experiences that mark our every day, will inevitably become the fertile soil of the designer’s imagination, and riding the waves of inspiration he will transform the reality in a myriad of splendid dreams.
Mason Tsai was born in Taipei, but grew up in Hong Kong, Singapore, England, and the U.S. Every stage of his life was like a journey in a different land, where he absorbed the local culture and shaped his design foundations. Moreover, the professional upbringing as an interior designer and goldsmith made him gradually become unique in his style. Among the lights and shadows of his metals and stones, he was able to dig out a dreamlike island which belonged to him and to the observer: carefree, leisurely, and intoxicatingly exquisite.
An inseparable unit of form and meaning
Most designers tend to believe that the concept precedes everything else. In Mason Tsai’s designs there is always an inseparable unit of form and meaning: the selection of material is driven by a clear story framework. His designs overturn the traditional jadeite crafts, insofar as he starts from the existing material and proceeds by carefully measuring every minor piece of the jadeite, evaluating its luster, its shape, and color. And then one idea associates with another with a dancing gait and it’s as if the material came to life, guiding the designer’s hands, and the designer in turn repeatedly carves and polishes the jadeite, balancing its hues. Almost as if he was engaging in a conversation with the object, the images and ideas that were scattered in the mind of the designer gradually concretize themselves. That’s why every work is so lifelike, that it actually seems alive.
Mature Craftsmanship with the Heart of a Child
If you go beyond the traditional cliché of what earrings, pendants, or a ring should look like, and if you also think outside the box of the traditional jadeite design framework, how many possibilities unfold before your eyes? A charming highly translucent emerald green jadeite, of excellent quality, or again an icy jadeite can work wonders. Mason Tsai thinks outside the box, using every day life objects in his designs and with his mature craftsmanship along with his perfectionist tendency, he is able to extract the intoxicatingly beautiful story intrinsic in every piece of jadeite. With innovative techniques and methods he has transformed the classical craft. Thanks to his fantasy and imagination, his designs come to life in infinite possibilities. It could be the vintage fashion of a scooter’s seat or a snail steadily climbing up a flower, it could be the most ordinary thing, but it’s still a metaphor of the designer’s resplendent dreams. It is like a condensed form of an ideal beauty, which unfolds itself in the eyes of the beholder, making the ordinary extraordinary and conferring to every detail the purity of a child’s heart.
Craftsmanship with a mix of Modern and Classic
Mason Tsai’s family background also surrounds jadeites. His works are based on classical craftsmanship, using exquisite composition techniques and delicate work skills, he strives to attain a perfect and inseparable unity of harmonious contrasts, almost like a sonnet, which sounds lyrical because it is laid out in every little detail, and once completed, it cannot be disintegrated in any way. And this is not all. Mason Tsai always tries to think outside the box with his designs: there is no cliché topic. The only common thing is the starting point, made of colour shappires and jadeites. Like a world traveler, he is able to catch the beauty of the universe in the palm of his hand. Its shape and color might be the same, but through an innovative way of thinking, he transforms the elements. Thanks to modern techniques, he integrates audacious hues, creating his unique style, which is a bridge between classic and modern craftsmanship.
Making the Ordinary Extraordinary
Jadeites are valuable not only for their intrinsic beauty, but also because they are a metaphor of time and space. Somehow, it’s like they condensate the quintessence of the world, they contain all beings, and make the ordinary extraordinary. This is exactly the spirit of Mason Tsai: with enough curiosity for the world and the purity of a heart’s child, it won’t be hard to discover the small miracles in everyday life. Then, with the deft hand of a craftsman, the story intrinsic to the jadeite will unfold before your eyes. The splendor of every jadeite will blur the limits of time and space in the eyes of the beholder. Art is long, and time is fleeing.
Mason Tsai’s designs reflect the dialogue between time and space, but are also a continuous dialectics of the relationship between oneself and the others, as well as men and nature. Intrinsic in the jadeite’s glorious splendor is the life that the designer carved and polished out of every piece of the colour shappire, but also an individual persistence towards art. A minute attention to details helps the observer find a relaxed state of mind, to enter slowly the inner realm that can be found in everybody’s heart: a pure and resplendent dimension. Space and time have no more boundaries, and through beauty we also attain this never-ending Neverland.