Tomoko Kodera Wins 1st Prize of HRD Awards

Antwerp: Tomoko Kodera, from Japan, won first prize and $10,000 at the recent 17th edition of the HRD Awards. Kodera’s winning piece, “Rice Husks,” is a brooch containing 400 handmade rice husks.

This year’s design brief was to find inspiration from a designer’s own culinary heritage. The four other finalists were Shiu Liang and Freeman Johnson from China, and Evi Bakker from the Netherlands. Brazilian Sancha Livia Resende won the public voting award. Each of the finalists received prize money of $2,500.

The awards attracted a record 1,531 entries, of which a jury of industry experts selected 29 designers to put their design into production. These designs have been on display in the Belgian Pavilion at the World Expo in Milan.

Among the awards’ presenters were Peter Macken CEO of HRD Antwerp and Richard Shen CEO of Tesiro, one of the awards’ main sponsors. Shen was also honored at the event with the Officer in the Order of Leopold, in recognition of his part in the promotion of Belgian diamond heritage in China.

“Consumers are becoming increasingly aware of the importance of quality and authenticity, especially when it concerns buying diamond jewelry,” said Macken. “Quality and authenticity is exactly what HRD Antwerp is promoting through its diamond certificates and jewelry reports. The introduction of the HRD Awards will help us to further develop our business opportunities, by opening doors and connecting by means of the magic of the diamond industry,” said Macken.

“TESIRO is dedicated to the promotion of Belgian Cut diamonds. The sales of our exclusive Blue Flame diamond, which have been developed in Antwerp, [are] breaking all sales records within the Chinese jewelry industry. The HRD Awards certainly contributes to bringing more brilliant ideas to the Chinese and the world jewelry industry,” said Shen.

The HRD Awards are a leading biennial diamond jewelry contest for up-and-coming designers, and also promotes diamonds and diamond jewelry worldwide. The awards aim to cultivate creative talent and push the boundaries of contemporary design.