The 11th edition of the Hong Kong Jewellery Design Competition was held this year with 169 entries in the Open Group and 153 in the Student Group. Designs were judged by their creativity and innovation, aesthetics and craftsmanship, marketability, wearability and topic relevance. This year, the theme was 'Jewellery without Boundaries' which represents 'innovative designs that break through the conventional boundaries and wisdom of jewellery design, while enhancing the charm and glamour of fine jewellery', says Benjamin Chau, deputy executive director of the Hong Kong Trade Development Council. Each year, the judges come from various fields, such as celebrities, professionals and experts from the jewellery and watch industry. This year, fashion designer Barney Cheng and jewellery designer Cally Kwong were among the judging panel. Chan Wen, who received the Best of Show award with his design called Hanging Moon, says he hopes to inspire people through his piece. 'The clouds next to the moon symbolise the grim events like the economic crises, yet the moon, which stands for optimism, is still shining next to it.' This is the first time Chan has entered the competition. 'My company encourages us [designers] to pursue our creativity and enter these competitions,' he says. However, Yuen Che-wai, recipient of the Best of Show and Craftsmanship and Technology award, says some local companies advise their designers to follow market demand rather than using their creativity in designs. Winning the award for the first time, Yuen says the reasons he entered the competition vary. 'This competition differs from the others in terms of flexibility [as there are not many rules], and participants get more exposure [because] international visitors get to see their products,' he says. Chan is a jewellery designer and Yuen is a jewellery design manager, and both say the road to become a successful designer is not easy. 'Young and upcoming designers shouldn't only look and observe jewellery, they should study other things as well. For example, they should read more books so they know about the latest trends,' Yuen says. Chan says young designers should not get too disenchanted with the jobs they start off in and just work hard to achieve their goals.