The family of jeweler Richard Tang has been known for many generations as crafters of fine objects of beauty. Tang's father taught him the art of creating jewelry from precious metals and from jade as he had learned it from his uncle.
The Tang family originated in Canton in the People's Republic of China. Shortly after the 1949 conclusion of the Chinese Revolution, the family moved to Hong Kong, where Richard Tang was born in 1961. The artistic insight which would lead Tang to jewelry making began to take shape in Hong Kong during the first years of Tang's training as a jeweler. Tang's artistry developed during a number of years of Chinese and European travel during the 1980's. In 1992 he left Hong Kong and moved to the United States, settling first in New York and then in Santa Fe.
The art which Tang has perfected is truly a rare one. He travels often to the Orient, especially to Hong Kong, where he purchases the examples of antique carved jade which will become centerpieces of his jewelry. He collects other antiquities as well, in particular Chinese coins and bronze coins of the late Roman Empire. To these treasures he will add gems of amber, turquoise and tourmaline as well as various types of leather and examples of cloisonné.
Using ancient, classic Chinese designs as his guide, Tang fashions these elements into works of art. His medium for doing so is 22 karat gold and silver. Tang uses the ancient technique of granulation as he brings his works to life. The difficult craft of granulation involves soldering hundreds of tiny beads of gold to the surface of a plane of gold to form a pattern or design.
The result of this labor is objects of unforgettable distinction: shimmering necklaces and bracelets, rings of nearly solid gold and fabulous pins. It is clear from Tang's work that the ancient fine art of jewelry is very much alive.