Jewellery - Jadeite Connections

Feature Story

We sit down with three HKDI student awardees of the latest Hong Kong Fei Cui Design Biennial Contest, as they share stories and thoughts behind their fascinating jadeite creations.

Jadeite, or Fei Cui , has long been recognised as a symbol and a medium of traditional oriental culture. Transcending time and borders, it remains a prominent material in various fields of design. Hong Kong Fei Cui Design Biennial Contest aims to enhance and facilitate the creative exchange on jadeite design among designers and enthusiasts worldwide. Organised by Hong Kong Jewellery & Jade Manufacturers Association, the contest emphasises innovative design, distinguished drawing techniques and craftsmanship. The event continues to pave the way for the future identity of jadeite as a contemporary, relevant and versatile design element.

The theme of the latest design contest was “Connections”. The contest offered six categories in total, attracting a diverse group of individuals to participate. Students from HKDI presented their exceptional works and garnered multiple awards. Here, three awardees from the “Students Group of post-secondary institutes or design institutes (drawings)” category talk about their ideation processes, views on balancing design and manufacture, as well as hopes for the future society.


Silk Road 
TSANG Yuen Ting, Champion

"My biggest achievement at the contest was seeing the works of different designers and gaining a lot of knowledge that I could not have learned at school."

A vivid symbol of the time we live in, Silk Road smartly captures the One Belt One Road Initiative. A TV programme ignited Tsang’s curiosity about the silk road, and prompted her decision to adopt it as her design theme. The silk road thus becomes her medium expressing the power and importance of establishing mutual understanding and empathy through communication. Tsang thinks that no matter if it is between people or nations, communication and self-expression are the keys to getting to know one another. She wishes to illustrate the economic and cultural exchanges between countries through her work. The result of this timely idea is an intricate representation of the silk road roadmap.

The respect Tsang has for individuals and cultures is also shown in how she treats her design materials. Tsang advocates for retaining the original size of the jadeite while only implementing simple designs to bring out its natural beauty. In particular, Tsang likes to set jade and gold together to highlight the allure of the gem. The students group champion thinks her biggest achievement at the contest was seeing the works of different designers and gaining knowledge that she could not have learned at school.

Secret of the Ocean
CHAN Sin Man, 1st Runner-up

Chan hoped to use her design to raise awareness of environmental issues and marine protection. During her research, Chan was fascinated by the unique tightly-knitted social relationships existing within dolphin communities, and subsequently decided to take it as the theme of her creation. Chan respects how dolphins interact with one another, and believes human beings can learn a thing or two from them when aiming to build a better society.

Chan’s brooch design consists of two dolphins interacting with each other. Jadeite dolphins stand out as the major component of the design, complemented by platinum and diamond “water splashes”. Chan also makes her brooch accessible by simplifying the overall design while retaining sufficient creativity and fun.

Chan sees every contest as a challenge and a way to seek improvements. By participating in this competition, she gained invaluable experience through building her own design and reviewing other contestants’ works.

Sea Ties
HUANG Dan Dan, 2nd Runner-up

Huang believes that connections exist everywhere. “Human beings are social animals.” She says, “Through collaboration and communication, we achieve our desired outcome.” However, instead of a personified theme, Huang’s work consists of seahorses. Their unique way of breeding reminded Huang of the tight connections between families. Therefore, in Huang’s work, we see two jadeite seahorses breeding an egg illustrated by a pearl.

Huang captures the sophisticated lustre present in jadeite, as this unique characteristic makes it an ideal material to elevate the tenderness and graciousness in the design. An open-minded designer, Huang bravely used her newly-mastered drawing technique in the contest. She also always aims to strike a balance between the most aesthetically-pleasing design and the reality present in every step that follows. As jadeite cannot be easily cut into smaller pieces, she swiftly decided to change her design from a ring to a brooch. Huang appreciates and is highly motivated by the recognition and support she received during the contest.