The Judges: Introducing Nadja Swarovski

We are delighted to announce that Nadja Swarovski will be joining the judging panel for the first edition of the Young Masters Emerging Woman Art Prize 2017.

Nadja Swarovski is the first female Member of the Executive Board of Swarovski, the world’s leading crystal manufacturer. She is the great-great-granddaughter of Daniel Swarovski, who founded the company in the Austrian alps in 1895. Today Swarovski turns over €3.2 billion a year.


Nadja has driven a program of creative collaborations that have revitalized the company over the past 20 years. As well as leading the company’s global branding and communications, she has commissioned new installations, artworks and products celebrating crystal that have continually positioned Swarovski at the vanguard of creative and lifestyle trends. From Alexander McQueen to Daniel Libeskind, the relationships she has built with figures in the worlds of fashion and jewellery, design and architecture, film and art, have established her as one of the world’s leading creative patrons. Nadja also oversees Swarovski’s Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives and philanthropic programs, and chairs the Swarovski Foundation.

In fashion, Nadja has built on Swarovski’s legacy of collaborating with the industry’s leading lights and emerging talents, implementing groundbreaking designer support and catwalk initiatives including the Swarovski Collective (founded in 1999), and Runway Rocks (founded in 2003).

In design, Nadja launched Swarovski Crystal Palace in 2002, an initiative that pushed the boundaries of lighting through collaborations with designers in the medium of crystal. The resulting body of work offered a snapshot of the most exciting creative minds of the modern era, including Zaha Hadid, John Pawson, Tom Dixon, Ross Lovegrove, Arik Levy and Yves Béhar.

In 2007 Nadja developed Atelier Swarovski, a cutting-edge jewelry and accessories line featuring collaborations with designers including Christopher Kane, Viktor & Rolf, Jean Paul Gaultier and Karl Lagerfeld. Atelier Swarovski was joined in 2016 by Atelier Swarovski Home, a home décor brand created in partnership with innovators such as Daniel Libeskind, Ron Arad, Tord Boontje, Fredrikson Stallard and rising stars Raw Edges.

Nadja has also strengthened Swarovski’s relationship with the film industry through partnerships with costume and set designers. Swarovski crystals have been featured in movies including The Young Victoria, Black Swan and Skyfall. In the music industry she has overseen collaborations with costume designers for performers such as Beyoncé, Taylor Swift, Jennifer Lopez and Madonna.

Since 2012 Nadja has led Swarovski’s Corporate Social Responsibility strategy, ensuring that ethical and environmental standards are embedded in the company’s business practices as it pursues its aim of becoming a world leader in sustainable luxury. She is an Ambassador for Women for Women International, and under her leadership Swarovski has signed up to the UN Women’s Empowerment Principles and the UN Global Compact.

Nadja chairs the Swarovski Foundation, which she established to consolidate the company’s long-term commitment to charitable giving. With a focus on education, the Foundation supports projects that foster creativity and culture, meet social needs and promote wellbeing, and conserve natural resources. The Foundation has supported projects that include the restoration of the San Giorgio statue at the Basilica di San Giorgio Maggiore in Venice, the new Swarovski Foundation Centre for Learning at the Design Museum in London, Women for Women International and Water Aid.

Born in Germany, Nadja is an Austrian and American citizen, and was educated in Europe and the US. After graduating from the Southern Methodist University in Dallas in 1992, she completed a graduate course in Fine and Decorative Arts at Sotheby’s in New York. She is currently based in London.

Artists are invited to apply now to Young Masters Art Prize in 2017. Applications open until 31 March 2017.


Young Masters Alumni: Jongjin Park

We recently caught up with Highly Commended Young Masters Alumni Jongjin Park to discuss his projects and achievements since partaking in the Inaugural Young Masters Maylis Grand Ceramics Prize in 2014.

What have you achieved since participating in the Young Masters Art Prize?

Since the Prize, I have shown my works internationally. Although I am currently working in Seoul, because of the scope of the Prize I do not feel far from the ceramic scene in the  U.K. and abroad.

How was Young Masters part of making this happen?

This opportunity was amazing and the other Alumni’s artworks are very impressive and well-established. I feel very honoured and I hope to embark on various projects with this team. It allows me to push and develop the concept of my works.

Born in Korea, Jongjin Park came to the UK to study Ceramics and the relationship between British and Eastern ceramic cultures. He takes the material of clay further than potters of the past, using and mimicking paper in clay to form “Paperclay”. Slip is brushed onto fine tissues of paper and then fired at  over 1280 degrees centigrade, resulting in a strong, durable, wood-like material, which belies the work’s fragile origins.

Jongjin Park is currently studying a PhD in ceramics at Kookmin University, following an MA Ceramics at Cardiff Metropolitan University and an MFA and BFA Ceramics at Kookmin University, Seoul. He has worked at the National Museum of Korea as a researcher in the department of Ceramics. His exhibitions include: Jongjin Park, Puls Ceramics, Brussels, 2017; A la Recherche du Sublime, Le Don du Fel, France, 2016; Artistic Stratum, KCDF Gallery, Korea, 2015; Ceramics Art London, Royal College of Art 2015; ‘FRESH’, British Ceramics Biennale, Stoke on Trent, U.K, 2015; Santorini Biennale of Arts, Greece, 2012; R.E.D, Arton gallery, Singapore, 2012; Singapore Ceramic Museum, Korea, and the 7th Cheongju International Craft Competition,  Korea, 2011, for which he was awarded the Gold Prize.

Ceramic artists are invited to apply now to Young Masters Maylis Grand Ceramics Prize in 2017. Applications open until 31 March 2017.

Image Credit: Jongjin Park, Artistic Stratum, 2017


The Judges: Introducing Dr Charles Saumarez Smith CBE

We are delighted to welcome back Dr Charles Saumarez Smith CBE  as part of the Young Masters Art Prize 2017 Judging Panel.


Dr Charles Saumarez Smith CBE is a British art historian. He was educated at Marlborough and King’s College, Cambridge, where he was a scholar and received a double first in history and history of art. After graduating, he spent a year at Harvard University as a Henry Fellow studying at the Fogg Art Museum and then returned to the Warburg Institute as a postgraduate student.

In 1979, he was elected Christie’s Research Fellow at Christ’s College, Cambridge and, in 1982, he joined the staff of the Victoria and Albert Museum as an Assistant Keeper with special responsibility for V&A/RCA MA in the History of Design. In 1990, he was appointed Head of Research at the Victoria and Albert Museum. In 1994, he was appointed Director of the National Portrait Gallery and, in 2002, Director of the National Gallery.

In 2007, Charles was appointed Secretary and Chief Executive of the Royal Academy of Arts, where he has concentrated on the renovation of the Keeper’s House and the development of plans for Burlington Gardens in the lead-up to the RA’s 250th anniversary in 2018, including a major fund-raising campaign and successful application to the Heritage Lottery Fund. He is a Professor of Cultural History at Queen Mary, University of London and a Trustee of the Prince’s Drawing School, the Public Catalogue Foundation and Charleston. In 2008, Charles was awarded a CBE.

Charles Saumarez Smith has been Secretary and Chief Executive of the Royal Academy of Arts since 2007.   He is also a visiting Professor of Cultural History at Queen Mary, University of London, an Honorary Fellow of Christ’s College, Cambridge.

Artists are invited to apply now to Young Masters Art Prize in 2017. Applications open until 31 March 2017.

Image Credit: Yinka Shonibare, MBE Earth, 2010 (detail) – Guest Artist 2012