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Jewellery & Metal (MA)

Ran Li

Ran Li is an artist, designer and maker from Chengdu, China. She holds Bachelor of Fine Arts in Design Object and Sculpture from School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) in the USA. 

Exhibition (selected)

2020 |“Jewellery Cultural Exchange Exhibition” Sunny Art Centre, London & Tokyo

2019 |“Guan Tong” Beijing International Jewelry Art exhibition, Beijing

2019 |Team work “Erocean” at Gallery L0 JCCAC, Hong Kong

2019 |“Matter-morphosis” at Dyson Gallery, London

2019 |“One Man Band” at Horniman Museum, London

2019 |“WIP” , London

2018 |Across RCA “Sense-ability” exhibition at Lower Gulbenkian Gallery, London

2017 |“Bing Xing” Beijing International jewelry Art exhibition”, Beijing  

2017 |BFA graduation show, Chicago


Personal Website


Degree Details

School of Arts & Humanities

Jewellery & Metal (MA)

As a lover of reading stories about the fantastical and the strange, Ran's works draw great inspiration from the mixture of realism and otherworldly dimension in those stories.

The melting process, for her, is a kind of subtle but fundamental power. It’s persuasive, feminine and soft. When something is melting, it changes its surroundings quietly, patiently but unmistakably. 

In her practice, she combines the aesthetics of melting with the pattern of deer fur, both of which fire her imagination. The idea of camouflage and the mystery of alien bodies inform her work, reflecting the surreal and absurdist quality of her own narratives. 

She uses some of Western culture’s most overused imagery, such as the apple, to suggest something emotional beyond the everyday fact of their existence, as a poetic solution to the mundane and soul-destroying nature of  modern life.

Melted Deer Apple Brooch — 8x6cm resin, 3d printed plaster, pastel paint, lacquer, silver 2020

Dear Deer! — 5x3cm resin, 3d printed plaster, lacquer 2019

Melted Deer Apple — 12x9cm 3d printed plaster 2019

Shiramine — 6x6cm resin, 3d printed plaster, pastel paint, lacquer, silver 2019

“You are a girl, you need to behave gracefully" I heard countless words like such through out my childhood, which shaped and distorted me subconsciously and comparable with the distorted image of the deer. The deer represents my parents’ expectation to their beloved single daughter: the metaphor of elegance, gracefulness and positive attitude.

By creating this image of distorted deer fur pattern, I visualised the awakening and expression of my self-consciousness, projecting it upon the space, time and memories. The deer fur talks about the disguise of one’s skin and the idea of camouflage. The visual imagery of the melted form, can be seen as mysterious alien forms in my work, reflecting the surreal and absurdist quality of my own narratives.

As apple is the metaphor of the epiphany of knowledge acquisition for Newton, I used apple in my practice as the metaphor of a beginning or a start , my attempt to return to myself, to let my consciousness and emotion roam free.

I am projecting myself onto this apple. The melted apple for me, then in turn represents a state of running away from my parents’ well protection, gaining the freedom to some degree of being an individual grown-up in this society. The surreal quality of this work is a poetic way to suggest his struggle in my mental state.


resin, 3d printed plaster, pastel paint, lacquer, silver


8x6cm size various
3D MODELINGanimalsApplied Artsart jewellerycontemporary jewelleryDigital CraftdistortionFantasy And The SurrealjewelleryandmetalpatternSurrealwearable sculpture

turkey dancer necklace 1 — gold-plated brass 2020

turkey dancer necklace 1 — gold-plated brass 2020

pearl necklace 2 — silver 2020

pearl necklace 2 — silver 2020

turkey pearl earrings — 3d rendering 2020

turkey pearl earrings — 3d rendering 2020

“Running like a headless chicken” is an English saying which means a state of panic, where there are too many things happening at the same time, and without planning or purpose and it is hard to do things effectively.

To me, it could also be interpreted to describe the busy life of modern urban people, how it is filled with work and too little time for themselves. They feel busy pursuing the material world but the spiritual world is forgotten.

Inspired by Henri Matisse’s famous painting “Dance” in 1910. I used dancing chickens to create two necklaces which talks about this social issue in an ironic way.


gold-plated brass, silver


10x10cm size various




digital rendering
21 July 2020
14:00 (GMT + 0)

Jewellery & Metal Panel Discussion: Emotive Materiality

Read More
16 July 2020
14:30 (GMT + 0)

Textiles: Before and After

A panel discussion with Textile alumni and Textile graduates.

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