3 March 2005
Hong Kong Jewellery Design Competition(HKTDC Jewellery, Vol 01,2005)
Hong Kong Jewellery Design Competition
Blending Past And Present
of Show Award
Blink, Blink and Beyond
of Show Award
of Show Award
Sea of Treasure
& Technology Award
Hong Kong's dynamic lifestyle provided dramatic inspiration to numerous gifted designers keen to explore fresh jewellery styles in the 6th Hong Kong Jewellery Design Competition.
Their intense passion for the city's past and present saw three local talents emerge as winners of the Best of Show Award at the annual competition, which attracted 176 entries.
A joint effort by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council, the Hong Kong Jewellers' & Goldsmiths Association, the Hong Kong Jewellery & Jade Manufacturers Association, the Hong Kong Jewelry Manufacturers' Association and the Diamond Federation of Hong Kong, China, the competition aims to enhance the creativity and design quality of the local jewellery industry.
Kwan Chok Kai of Karp Jewellery Mfg HK Ltd certainly rose to the challenge, blending Hong Kong's austere past with its modern success in his powerful creation titled Blink, Blink and Beyond in the US$2,500-5,000 ring category.
"The two-faced ring resembles an old-fashioned laundry board commonly used by Hong Kong housewives in the 1960s and 1970s," recalls Kwan, a designer in his mid-30s.
He says his design utilises yellow gold and six carats of rubies to depict the perseverance of his parents' generation, while employing round diamonds totalling approximately 3.11 carats to glorify their results.
"The faade of the ring can be easily rolled up by its wearer to show the dichotomy of our city," he adds. "It is dedicated to those who appreciate changes and new ideas."
Chu Wai On also owes the inspiration for her prize-winning Sixty design in the US$3,750-7,500 pendant/brooch category to Hong Kong's history, as well as the theme of the competition - the convergence of classic and modern.
"The bold creation features white diamonds totalling about five carats and fancy brown diamonds weighing one carat, onyx and plastic set in 18-karat rose gold, 18-karat white gold and 18-karat black gold," says Chu, a 24-year-old designer with Luk Fook Jewellery & Goldsmith (HK) Co Ltd. "This results in a playful mix of classic elements in an innovative way."
She deliberately uses red plastic and black onyx circles and dots to create a sharp contrast, implying the difference between the old and new.
"It's hard to relate plastic with precious jewellery design," Chu concedes. "This substance was chosen to demonstrate that good design is not limited by the use of materials, and it is also a tribute to Hong Kong's flourishing plastic industry in the 1960s."
Equally creative is Wu Chui Luen, a designer with CSS Jewellery Co Ltd and the winner of the US$3,750-7,500 earring category. Her entry, Sea of Treasure, comprises movable round pieces of 18-karat white gold, 18-karat yellow gold and 18-karat rose gold plates adorned with six carats of white diamonds that evoke glittering fish scales gleaming in the sea.
"The sea is a distinguished geographical feature of Hong Kong, while the movable pieces of the design illustrates the vitality of the city," she explains. "Three different colours of gold are used to emphasise the colour of the cultures of Hong Kong."
However, while Hong Kong's jewellery industry remains basically a handicraft business, a number of larger establishments have made use of sophisticated automated production equipment.
The winner of the Craftmanship & Technology Award - Red Lantern by designer Ng Mei Kan and manufacturer Chow Tai Fook Jewellery Co Ltd - is noteworthy for its high quality and stylish presentation.
"The skilled workmanship and state-of-the-art technology of the manufacturer enabled Red Lantern to project the warmth and joy of the Mid-Autumn Festival that prompted me to come up with this design," Ng says.
An apprentice from the Hong Kong Institute of Vocational Education specialising in jewellery design and technology, Ng claims the award has given her career a definite boost.
Proving that while celebrity designers take centre stage most of the time, the Hong Kong Jewellery Design Competition continues to successfully display the talents and creativity of young local stylists to the world.
WRITTEN BY VANAPA ONGVISES
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