Jingjing Yu is best known for her whimsical and imaginary kawaii-style ceramics, animation, and illustrations. She was born and raised in Chengdu, China, home to the world’s largest giant panda population. She works out of her home pottery studio in addition to the Fifth Street Pottery Studio in Bentonville. She lives with her partner Brandon and her retired racing greyhound Tali.
Jingjing Yu was born an only child during the 1990s, under China’s “one-child” policy. As such, she had to shoulder high expectations to rise above the poverty line in her career. Art, as a pastime and a study, was considered a luxury during her upbringing and took no precedence over being accomplished financially. She was enrolled in drawing lessons as a child but was specifically warned not to make a career out of any artistic endeavors.
After immigrating to the United States as a teenager, Yu found herself alone in an unfamiliar country that celebrates individuality and freedom. She started to explore pottery, silversmithing, watercolor, and woodworking to express herself in ways she couldn’t before.
Yu makes ceramic tableware, functional sculptures, and occasionally decorative pieces. Her signature style includes anthropomorphic (and sometimes mythological) characters in the form of mugs and vases, including wendigos, Cthulhu, and a range of cute, worldly animals with red blush and bright coats.