The Xifu International Gold Wedding Jewellery Design Competition 2017, which kicked off this January, is accepting entries from March 1 to May 31. The Grand Prize includes a 1kg gold bar. The competition, co-organised by JNA & CJNA of UBM Asia, the World Gold Council and the People’s Government of Yantian District, Shenzhen, is aimed at encouraging creativity in wedding jewellery design. In an interview with JNA, the judges, comprising renowned professionals from the jewellery, arts and design sectors, share their thoughts on jewellery design and reveal their expectations from the participants.
Professor Norman Cherry, who chairs the judging panel, said that a jewellery art work is made unique by its special structure, shape, colour and materials, as well as the emotions, stories and meanings that it represents.
Cherry believes that the competition, with its high professional standards, can raise the profile and acceptance of gold wedding jewellery around the world. Aside from drawing participation from different countries and regions, it would also increase the popularity of gold wedding jewellery in the international market and yield new inspiration and design concepts for the gold wedding jewellery industry.
Cherry was the former Pro Vice Chancellor for Arts at the University of Lincoln and former head of the renowned Birmingham School of Jewellery. He has been a creator, educator and curator since 2014. He currently represents international clients in collaborating with universities in China and other countries, and provides consulting services to jewellery manufacturers on how to nurture young designers. He has also curated several successful international contemporary jewellery exhibitions.
Cherry’s advice to the contestants is to be original and daring while remaining true to their nature and emotions. According to him, good designers always ask themselves two questions: “Why?” and “What if?” Designers should always be very clear about their objectives and brave enough to keep trying to achieve these, he explained.
According to modern artist Ben Mori, possessing a unique and outstanding gold wedding jewellery piece for one’s nuptials would be extremely memorable to newlyweds. As one of the judges in the Xifu competition, Mori said he couldn’t wait to be impressed by the contestants’ innovative designs.
Mori graduated from Keio Jr. High and the Rhode Island School of Design, majoring in Graphic Design. He is the founder of fashion brands “Ben Mori” and “White Raven,” and conducts exhibits of his artworks in Japan. He has expertise in various fields of art such as 2D and 3D drawing, liberal arts and graphic design.
Paola De Luca
To Paola De Luca, gold stands for purity and, hence, symbolises the lifelong commitment of marriage. She remarked that Chinese consumers are now avid followers of fashion and beauty, noting that the younger generation of consumers is particularly appreciative of the design and the story behind a piece of jewellery.
De Luca said the much-improved quality of life in China has led to higher and different expectations among younger consumers when it comes to gold wedding jewellery. The cross-cultural influences the competition would generate are likely to stimulate the gold wedding jewellery industry and provide the market with new and modern design ideas for this product category.
De Luca is not only the founder and creative director of the Futurist Ltd in Italy, but is also a renowned luxury trend forecaster with particular expertise on global jewellery design trends.
She runs design projects and educational programmes for buyers and government organisations, and conducts seminars on global jewellery design trends at international trade fairs. She also collaborates on design projects with leading companies in the industry such as Rio Tinto Diamonds. In 2012, she co-founded TRENDVISION Jewellery & Forecasting in partnership with Italy’s VicenzaOro Fair. De Luca’s trend books are much sought-after resources on jewellery design.
Professor Tang Xuxiang from Tsinghua University in Beijing noted that Chinese consumers increasingly place a premium on culture, art and tradition in jewellery. The biggest challenge of this competition is thus to meet younger consumers’ expectations of gold wedding jewellery. As a judge in the Xifu competition, he is looking forward to seeing new ideas in design.
A professor, doctoral advisor and the director of the Jewelry Studio of the Academy of Arts and Design at Tsinghua University, Tang adheres to the philosophy of learning from tradition and adapting to contemporary times. He is an expert on traditional Chinese metalcraft, modern art and design, and delivers lectures on modern metal jewellery design at Tsinghua University.
A talented designer himself, Tang has participated in a number of international exhibitions. Several of his pieces have won awards, including his entry “Coffee Ware” that garnered the silver medal at the 10th National Fine Arts Exhibition.
Celebrated jewellery designer Stephen Webster, also a judge in the Xifu competition, values the concept of “Oneness” in jewellery art pieces. To him, a touching piece of jewellery is the combination and synergy of spirit and physical form.
The award-winning designer has served on the judging panels of many competitions. He described the Xifu contest as an important milestone for the innovation of gold wedding jewellery.
Webster’s jewellery brand infused Rock ‘n Roll influences into fine jewellery, shaking up the jewellery establishment with its fresh, bold and modern designs. It soon acquired a celebrity clientele including the likes of Madonna. Webster curates Rock Vault, an initiative of the British Fashion Council to mentor, support, showcase and promote the innovative, fine jewellery talents from Britain.
Information provided by the Xifu International Gold Wedding Jewellery Design Competition Organising Committee.
For more information, visit www.xifudesigncompetition.com/en.