Since 2008, LAO has organized the contest-exhibition“PREZIOSA YOUNG”, dedicated to emerging artists selected through an international competition. The aim is to contribute to the promotion and circulation of what is new in research jewellery. Every edition, we invite worldwide artists, goldsmiths, designers, young professionals to present projects that illustrate the work in which they are currently involved. An international jury composed by curators, artists and critics selects a small number of candidates from all those who have submitted their candidature. The selected artists also have the opportunity to compete for the two special prizes offered by LAO and Inhorgenta Fair.
The LAO prize provides a three-month stay as an “Artist in residence” in Florence, while the Inhorgenta fair will award one of the winners with a free exhibition space for the following year edition of the fair. In the period of residence in Florence, the assignee of the LAO prize commits himself to creating a collection that will be presented on the occasion of the PREZIOSA YOUNG exhibition in Florence.

For the 2019 edition
of the contest,
we received 

applications from all over the world.


composed by

Maria Cristina Bergesio
Tasso Mattar
Maria Rosa Franzin
Robert Mazlo
Irene Belfi

had selected

Three artists

Yajie Hu  |  Koen Jacobs  | Jongseok Lim

Yajie Hu

Yajie Hu
Tangible color


As an artist, I am naturally attracted to colour and texture, as well as art as a tangible, wearable object. I investigate the colours, textures and shapes of some interesting animals, such as snakes and chameleons. I also study the striking colours of carnivorous plants as their approach is to attract insects into their deadly clutches. These interests have inspired me to create my jewellery collections. I primarily work with acrylic paint as my ideas are best expressed through it. Working with acrylic paint allows me to be in direct contact with colour. I therefore not only investigate its visual qualities but also explore it as a useable material. At the same time, my designs are based on organic forms, which are then transformed and designed into my own aesthetic pieces. I aim for my designs to be worn on the body, but also to be valued as art objects.

Koen Jacobs

Koen Jacobs

The artificial kingdom

My work is about reliving memories of my childhood. An escape to a child’s naive dreamworld, where they playfully discover the world around them and the beauty of nature. A skeleton is a carrier of past memories and a device for recreating them. Wearing and playing my marionette animal-skeletons will trigger childhood memories and evoke the naive playful child in you. Just like time adds layers to nature and memories, my animal-skeletons are in a process of transformation, creating a new image.

Jongseok Lim

Jongseok Lim

In our daily life insects might be too petty to grab our attention. Unknowingly, however, we have a close relationship with them which has a far-reaching effect on our lives. When I was young, insects were an object that stirred my curiosity and their peculiar shape left a strong impression on me. Now, as an adult they are a means to bring back my childhood memories. Their impressive appearance is a result of their inevitable evolution in order to coexist with the changing environments of today. Insects are evolving to survive in a fast transforming ecosystem. The glittering covers and antennae armed with chitin, translucent wings, and the interesting shape of each fragilely thin joint become my own language of formative arts. These insect shape’s are expressed with filigree. Filigree is a technique that repeats lines tens or hundreds of times, to make my desired shape and the main theme of my thesis. Lines of a fine thread all together show a unique pattern and texture and the scale of the plane produced gives a special visual impression as the scale is as big as an insect. The insect made with metal reminds viewers of very private but universal memories and makes new interpretations and messages. I hope that the result of my work will create intriguing images and at the same time serve as an attractive object.

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