Dedicated Place for Art Jewellery & Objects

Jorge Manilla profile picture

Ghent / Belgium

Born in 1977

Jorge Manilla, the son of a family of Mexican goldsmiths and engravers, studied visual arts at the Academy of San Carlos, in Mexico. He received a highly technical jewellery training at the Academy of Craft and Design from the Mexican Institute of Fine Arts. But it was until he moved to Belgium, years later, where he enrolled at the Karel de Grote Academy in Antwerp, that he was forced to forget about the traditional notion he had to jewellery, to let his technical skills aside and to research about the cultural meaning of jewellery, its conceptual possibilities and to experiment with materials and techniques .

Manilla’s vast production, is both utterly beautiful and profoundly upsetting. Attraction, repulsion, uneasiness: his work confronts him with his religious upbringing and the viewer with a powerful and intimate perception of the syncretic religion of the modern Mexico. Allusions to religious images and iconography that show the often tortuous and painful relations that Mexicans have with their faith. Wood, bones, textile, branded leather and silver are amalgamated and transformed into almost recognizable shapes: a probable anatomical part, a series of tiny bundles that could be small babies, an unknown religious utensil. Manilla is not shy to experiment with all kinds of materials and processes, never leaving aside his extraordinary metalsmithing skills. Each one of his pieces is carefully crafted in a variety of processes that are able to convey his rotund ideas.

“He understood that modelling the incoherent and vertiginous matter of which dreams are composed was the most difficult task that a man could undertake, even though he should penetrate all the enigmas of a superior and inferior order (…)”

Jorge Luis Borges, The Circular Ruins.

…The creations express a different and deeper reality in another language. Primarily derived from the Mexican culture, the specific symbolism creates a language of images that hand a different form of perception to the Western spectator… .

… The jewel-objects of the Mexican designer Jorge Manilla seek possible answers to questions that reach to the searching man throughout his life claims. Moreover, it seems, at first glance, these creations are created directly in the dream world of an artist-shaman. Dream forged from dust, they appear as plastic constellations of symbols and metaphors, a personal microcosm far from the ‘knowable’ reality. Dream images that condense to a mythical or spiritual dimension revealing to those who learn to decipher the symbolism. The creations speak of a ‘different’ and ‘deeper’ reality in a different language. Mainly from the Mexican culture, it creates a visual language specific symbols field, the Western viewer a different form of perception empowering …

… The syncretism of Indian and Catholic religion has a translation into symbolic objects carry loaded, pregnant with meanings.

Evelien Bracke



Art Galleries


  • Today Research Project (PhD), Royal Academy of Fine Arts, AP Antwerp, BELGIUM

  • Teacher training course PCVO Het Perspectief, Ghent, Belgium

  • Master in jewellery design, Karel de grote Hogeschool, Antwerp, Belgium

  • Bachelor in sculpture, Hogeschool Gent, Belgium

  • Jewellery and silversmithing, Escuela de Diseño y Artesanías (INBA), Mexico City

  • Drawing and sculpture classes at San Carlos Academy, Mexico City

    • ‘Una Mirada’, Gallery Adorna Corações, Porto (PT)
    • ‘Some Works’, Walka Studio, Santiago de Chilli (CL)
    • ‘Martyrs Everywhere’, Universidad Centro, Mexico City (MX)
    • ‘Contrastes’, Ingrid Adrianssens Gallery, Gent (BE)
    • ‘Fragmentos’, Gallery Alliage 925, Lille (FRA)
  • ‘Ese Hombre’ Silke and The Gallery, Antwerp, Belgium
    ‘Devotos y Exvotos’ Villa de Bondt , Ghent, Belgium

  • ‘Locus Niger’ Mexican Research Center, University Antwerp, Antwerp, Belgium
    ‘Consciente-in-consciente’ Silke and the Gallery, Antwerp, Belgium

    • ‘Schmuck’, 64th International Trade Fair, Munich (DE)
    • ‘MURMURAtion’, International exhibition in the frame of Schmuck, Munich
    • ‘In Frame’, 3stations Project: international exhibition in the frame of schmuck, Munich (DE)
    • ‘Schmuckshow Maximiliams Forum’, Passage für interdisziplinare Kunst, Munich ( DE)
    • ‘SOFA Palm Beach’ represented by Charon Kransens, Florida (US)
    • ‘SOFA Chicago’ represented by Charon Kransens, Chicago (US)
    • ‘Under that Cloud’, Manchester Art Gallery, Manchester (UK)
    • ‘European Triennial of Contemporary Jewellery’, WCC BF, Mons (BE)
    • ‘SOFA West Santa Fe’ represented by Charon Kransens, Santa Fe (US)
    • ‘Think Twice’ New Latin American Jewellery Bellevue Art Museum, Northeast Bellevue (US)
    • ‘Under that Cloud’, Velvet da Vinci Gallery, San Francisco (US)
    • ‘SOFA NY’ represented by Charon Kransens, New York City (US)
    • ‘Under that Cloud’, Spektrum Gallery, Munich (DE)
    • ‘I?m sorry there?s no title’, Belgian Jewellery, Schmuck Munich (DE)
    • ‘Lagd I Verden’ (made in the world), National Museum of Art and Design, Oslo (NW)
    • ‘Claude Wesel’, Gallery, Brussel (BE)
    • ‘Abushan, from Grass to Gold, dialogue for the 21st Century’, World Crafts Council International, New Dheli (IND)
    • ‘Auf vorrad’ jewellery pop-up store ART Fabric Space, Taiwan Designers Week,Taiwan (TW)
    • ‘Op voorraad’ Jewellery pop-up store, Silke and The gallery, Antwerp (BE)
    • ‘Walking the Gray Area’, Exhibition and international Symposium of contemporary jewellery, Galeria Emilia Cohen (MX)
    • ‘Lingam’, Museum Catharijneconvent, Utrecht (NL)
    • ‘Think Twice, New Latin American Jewellery’, MAD Museum, New York (US)
    • ‘7th Biennale Bijoux Sauvaje’, Design Flanders Gallery, Brussels (BE)
    • ‘Henry Van de Velde Award’ Jong Talent, Design Korea COEX, Seoul (KOR)
    • ‘Adventure box’ Friends of Carlotta, Zurich, Switzerland
    • ‘ho,ho,ho’ Friends of Carlotta, Zurich, Switzerland
    • ‘Op voorraad’ Jewellery pop-up store Oudekerksplein, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
    • ‘European Prize of Applied Arts, World Crafts Council BF, Mons, Belgium
    • ‘Chengju International Craft Competition, Chengju Arts Center, Republic of Korea
    • ‘Porn’ International Jewellery Art Exhibition, Gallery Johan S. Helsinki, Finland
    • ‘Op voorraad’ Jewellery pop-up store Huisrechts, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
    • ‘Wardrobe 2.0’ Gallery Hoet-Bekaert, Ghent, Belgium
    • ‘Lingam’ Konstfack, Stockholm, Sweden
    • ‘The Sting of Passion’ Manchester Art Gallery, Uk
    • ‘Far and Near’ Museum of Cultures, Helsinki, Finland
    • ‘Lineart showcase Design Vlaanderen, Ghent , Belgium
    • ‘Love Nest’ The white Hotel, Brussels, Belgium
    • ‘One’ SASK Sint Niklaas, Belgium
    • ‘Design Verpakt’ Design Vlaanderen Gallery, Brussels,
    • Belgium ‘Oeverture’ Designparcours, Ghent, Belgium
    • ‘Nieuwe Oogst’ Design Vlaanderen Gallery, Brussels, Belgium
    • ‘European Triennial of Contemporary Jewellery, WCC BF, Mons, Belgium
    • ‘Spring’ Koningin Fabiola Zaal, Antwerp, Belgium
    • Workshop Intuiciones, la delgada frontera entre el pensar y el hacer, Escuela Superior de Artes y Diseño, Valencia (ESP)
    • Workshop ‘Dialogos de identidad’,organized by NOVAJOIA and University of Campinas, Campinas (BR)
    • Workshop ‘En Busca De Significados, un dialogo entre forma y Materia’, Walka Studio, Santiago de Chilli (CL)
    • Teacher jewellery design and silversmithing, Royal Academy of Fine Arts, ARTESIS Antwerp (BE)
    • Teacher jewellery design and silversmithing, RHoK, Art Academy, Brussels (BE)
    • Workshop ‘Looking for meanings, a dialogue between form and materials’, Cristina Celis Studio, Mexico City (MX)
    • External jury, final projects jewellery, Academy of Berchem, Antwerp (BE)
    • External jury, final projects jewellery, Institut of art and crafts, Mechelen (BE)
    • Teacher jewellery design and silversmithing, Royal Academy of Fine Arts, ARTESIS Antwerp (BE)
    • Teacher jewellery design and silversmithing, RHoK, Art Academy, Brussels (BE)
    • Workshop ‘Dualities-dualidades’, La germinal, Barcelona (ESP)
    • Workshop ‘Dialogos de Identidad’, Universidad Centro Mexico City (MX)
    • External jury jewellery department Royal Academy of Fine Arts ARTESIS, Antwerp (BE)
    • External jury SASK, final projects jewellery, St Niklaas (BE)
    • External jury, final projects jewellery, Instutut of art and crafts, Mechelen (BE)
    • Teacher jewellery design and silversmithing, RHoK, Art Academy, Brussels (BE)
    • Teacher and silversmithing Sask Sint niklaas & at RHoK, Art Academy, Brussels
    • Teacher jewellery design and silversmithing, RHoK, Art Academy, Brussels
    • Winner of the ‘Henry Van de Velde Awards’ Young Talent, Brussels (BE)
    • Selected in the Chengju International Craft Competition 09
    • Finalist HRD Awards Jewellery Design ‘One night at the Opera’, Antwerp, Belgium
    • Finalist HRD Awards Jewellery Design ‘Diamonds are fun’, Antwerp, Belgium
    • Selected for Spring selection, Design Flanders, Flemish Government
    • Henry van de Velde Award for Young Talent, Design Flanders, Brussels, Belgium
    • Lecture ‘Si no puedes decirlo con palabras cuéntalo de otra forma’, Escuela S uperior de Arte y Diseño, Valencia (ES)
    • Lecture ‘Si no puedes decirlo con palabras cuéntalo de otra forma’, Auditorio da F EC/UNICAMP, Campinas (BR)
    • Lecture ‘Si no puedes decirlo con palabras cuéntalo de otra forma’, Escuela de Diseño, Universidad Catolica, Santiago de Ch illi (CL)
    • Lecture Symposium Day at the European Triennal of Contemporary Jewellery, Mons (BE)
    • Lecture ‘Terapia en Grupo’, Symposium Walking the Gray Area, Mexico City (MX)
    • International Symposium, ‘Sting of Passion’ Museum of Science and Industry, Manchester (UK)
    • Confrontations 2009/8, Jewellery department of St Lucas, Antwerp (BE)
    • Artefact , International symposium Jewellery
    • Wearables, Ceramics , Sint Lucas Antwerp (BE)
    • ‘Jewellery Design’ by Natalio Martin (book)
    • ‘Noovo Editions’ Printed edition (magazine)
    • European Triennal of contemporary jewellery’ (catalogue)
    • ‘Kwintessens’, Flemisch Magazine of Design (article)
    • ‘Gray area Gris: Contemporary jewellery and cultural diversity’ (book)
    • ‘Under that Cloud'(catalogue of the exhibition)
    • ‘Bijoux Sauvage’ (catalogue of the exhibition)
    • ‘500 Jewellery design’ (book)
    • ‘Seed to Silver’ New Dheli (article)
    • ‘Label Jewels & Watches’ (article)
    • ‘Arts Plastiques newspaper’ (article)
    • ‘El universal newspaper’ (article – interview)
    • ‘tl magazine’ (article)
    • ‘Sting of passion’ (catalogue of the exhibition)
    • ‘Lingam’ (catalogue of the exhibition)
    • ‘Henry Van de Velde Awards’ (catalogue)
    • ‘Knack weekend magazine’ (article)
    • ‘De Morgen magazine’ (interview)
    • ‘De standaard, newspaper (article)
    • ‘European Prize of Applied Arts’ (book) ‘One’ SASK (book)
    • ‘Chengju International Craft Competition 09’ (catalogue)
    • ‘Sting of passion’ (catalogue)
    • ‘Compendium of contemporary jewellery’ Darling Publications (book)
    • ‘Revue de la céramique et du verre’ (article)
    • ‘Zone 09’ magazine (article)
    • ‘Artelier’ ? Contemporary Crafts in Belgium 2009 (book)
    • ‘Karaat’ magazine (article)
    • ‘Jewelry world’ Chinese jewellery magazine (article)
    • ‘Knack weekend magazine’ (article)
    • ‘Kwintessens’ Flemish magazine of design (article)
    • ‘European Triennal of contemporary jewellery’ (catalogue)
    • ‘Spring 2008’ Antwerp (Catalogue)
    • ‘Kwintessens’ Flemish magazine of design (article)
    • ‘One night at the opera’,HRD Award, (catalogue)
    • ‘(H)art magazine (article)
    • ‘Kwintessens’ Flemish magazine of design (article)
    • ‘Diamonds are fun’HRD Award,Antwerp,Belgium (catalogue)
    • Artefact, International Symposium Jewellery-Wearables Ceramics (Book)