Measures to control the COVID-19 pandemic have closed many doors across the world but windows remain open, letting light shine through. And this week the light has sparkled on gems, gold and silver as Hong Kong hosted twin jewellery shows.
Open to members of the public in the city for the first time, the shows featured the 22nd Hong Kong Jewellery Design Competition announcement as a curtain raiser, throwing the spotlight on the creative flair of local jewellery designers.
Organised by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC), the HKTDC Hong Kong International Jewellery Show and HKTDC Hong Kong International Diamond, Gem & Pearl Show ran at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre (HKCEC) from 26 July to 29 July, drawing more than 13,700 industry buyers and over 17,000 public visitors. The guest-of-honour at the joint opening ceremony was Eliza Lee, Permanent Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development (Commerce, Industry and Tourism) of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.
Under the theme “Light•Shadow”, this year’s Hong Kong Jewellery Design Competition highlighted the level of talent in Hong Kong, the resilience of the city’s jewellery industry and its ability to move forward from the challenges of the pandemic. The winning pieces went on display at the Jewellery Show, demonstrating the ingenuity of original Hong Kong designs to jewellery buyers and exhibitors.
Jointly organised by the HKTDC, the Hong Kong Jewellers’ & Goldsmiths’ Association, Hong Kong Jewellery & Jade Manufacturers Association, Hong Kong Jewelry Manufacturers’ Association and the Diamond Federation of Hong Kong, China, the competition aims to enhance the design quality of the local jewellery industry, identify talent, and promote Hong Kong’s outstanding jewellery collections to local and international buyers.
The latest contest was divided into two categories, the Open Group and the Student Group, in which experienced and budding jewellery designers respectively demonstrated their creative edge and excellent craftsmanship.
Three Best of Show awards were given in the Open Group. Yuen Ching-chi’s entry, “Follow the Wind” (main picture) won a Best of Show award as well as the Craftsmanship and Technology Award. The winning piece can be worn in different ways. A fan with a pearl in the middle can be taken off and added to a ring, while two black jadeite fans can be combined to create a different style of necklace. Ms Yuen said the pearl on the fan represents the sun while the icy jadeite represents flowers. The sponsoring company for the piece, Sharon Yuen Jewelry Design, also received the Craftsmanship and Technology Award, recognising the production team’s excellence in jewellery craftsmanship.
Another Best of Show Award winner was Tang Yuk-ying, who selected a variety of materials and gemstones of different colours to create “Window of the Heart”, a ring with a hollowed-out design. There’s a saying that “when a door closes, another one opens”, and in her winning piece Ms Tang is encouraging people to open the door to their heart and take a leap forward to a brighter future.
The third Best of Show Award winner was Ng Ki-kai, whose design titled “Ming” incorporates the concept of light and shadow expressed through the sun and the moon. The golden pearl represents the sun and a black pearl represents the moon, while three-layered “golden lines” represent the hills and clouds from classical Chinese paintings. Diamonds on the edge of the ring symbolise the rays of the sun breaking through layers of cloud at dawn.
Open to students of institutions registered in Hong Kong, the Student Group category aims to inspire more young design talents to join the jewellery design profession. Chan Wing-lam from the School of Continuing Education at Hong Kong Baptist University won the Student Group Champion with her brooch design, “Spring Bird”. The design was inspired by the reflections created by Chinese revolving horse lanterns, where light and shadow work together to produce stunning projections that are often seen as a metaphor for life.
The First Runner-up in the Student Group was Lo Lok-yi from CCC Mong Man Wai College. Her design, “Polaris Melody”, is a necklace composed of various interwoven metals, Swiss blue topaz and olive-green cubic zirconia. It was inspired by the rhythm and trails of light of the Polaris star, symbolising how there is always a ray of hope to guide us in the dark.
The Student Group’s Second Runner-up was Lam Wai-yee from the School of Continuing Education at Hong Kong Baptist University. Her design, “Yanxia Ring”, can be worn separately as a pendant or a ring, or together as a combined piece. The work is inlaid with gemstones of different colours, representing the radiant glow between light and shadow and the beauty of a rainbow. The centre of the ring is inlaid with white jade to symbolise bringing light into the world.
Nearly 150 entries were submitted for this year’s competition. The six-strong judging panel evaluated the entries based on creativity and innovation, aesthetics, craftsmanship and wearability, topic relevance and marketability (the latter applicable only to the Open Group). The three Open Group winners will be sponsored to attend a three-day online jewellery design course at the Hiko Mizuno College of Jewellery in Japan.
Hybrid jewellery shows
The HKTDC conducted the twin jewellery shows in physical-online hybrid format for the first time, bringing together nearly 440 exhibitors, including overseas companies that joined online. Both shows were also open to jewellery-loving public visitors for the first time. Overseas buyers who were unable to attend the physical events at the HKCEC can make business deals through online video conferences with exhibitors. The online shows run until 5 August.
HKTDC Hong Kong International Jewellery Show