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Wallace Chan

Transformable Brooch_My Butterfly Dream (11).jpg
Transformable Brooch_My Butterfly Dream (11).jpg

Wallace Chan began as a gemstone carver in 1973 at the age of 16.

By the 2010s , he was world renowned as a jewellery artist and innovator. His creativity and curiosity have driven him to develop several innovations: The Wallace Cut, an illusionary three-dimensional carving technique invented in 1987; mastery of titanium in jewellery-making; a patented jadeite luminosity-enhancing technology; the invention of elaborate gemstone settings without metal claws; the mysterious Secret Abyss, in which over a thousand emeralds were set inside a block of rutilated quartz through a 6.5mm opening; and most recently, The Wallace Chan Porcelain, a material five times harder than steel.

Often compared to alchemists in medieval Europe and philosophers in ancient China, Chan is obsessed with new discoveries, and is constantly looking for ever-bigger canvases and new materials. After eight years of research and experimentation, he unleashed the previously undiscovered potential of titanium, in not only jewellery but also large-scale sculptures, allowing for the creation of unprecedented colours and forms.

To date, Chan is one of the only artists to use titanium in artworks of such colour, scale and complexity.

In the 2010s, he spent seven years studying and exploring the potential of porcelain, resulting in the birth of The Wallace Chan Porcelain in 2018, a groundbreaking material that is five times harder than steel. Colourful, smooth and lustrous, The Wallace Chan Porcelain embodies new aesthetics and high complexity in both his jewellery and sculptural works.

Understanding that life itself is imperfect, the artist pursues his ideals in otherworldly imagination. He regards the creative process as a means for him to recreate himself and the world around him.

Chan also gained worldwide recognition by becoming the first Chinese jewellery artist to exhibit at prestigious art fairs like The European Fine Art Fair (Maastricht 2016-2020, New York 2016 & 2017) and Biennale des Antiquaires (Paris, 2012 & 2014). His solo exhibitions were held at Fondaco Marcello (Venice, 2021), Asia House (London, 2019), Christie’s Gallery (Hong Kong, 2019), the Gemological Institute of America Museum (Carlsbad, 2011), the Capital Museum (Beijing, 2010), Kaohsiung Museum of History (Taiwan, 1999), and Deutsches Edelsteinmuseum (Idar-Oberstein, 1992).

In 2019, his jewellery creation, A New Generation, was added to the permanent collection of the British Museum, and is on exhibit in The Sir Joseph Hotung Gallery of China and South Asia. His works are also included in the collections of the Beijing Capital Museum (2010), and the Ningbo Museum (2010).

To date, his speaking credits include the British Museum (London, 2019), LAPADA Art and Antique Fair (London, 2019), Hotel Café Royal (London, 2019), the British Academy of Jewellery (London, 2019), the Royal College of Art (London, 2019), The University of Hong Kong (Hong Kong, 2019), Christie’s Education (Hong Kong, 2019), Gem-A (London, 2018), Sarabande Foundation: Established by Lee Alexander McQueen (London, 2018), Sciences Po (Paris, 2018, Harvard University (Cambridge, 2017), Central Saint Martins (London, 2017), the V&A Museum (London, 2016), and Christie’s (Paris, 2014). In 2016, his first illustrated monograph, Dream Light Water, was released with a presentation at the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum (New York).

Insights From The Exhibitor

The process of creation is a process of self-fulfilment. Reality is imperfect, life is imperfect, I am absolutely imperfect, but through creation, I am fortunate to be able to imagine the possibilities of perfection, and strive to get closer to it. - Wallace Chan

Exhibitions

On view
Wallace Chan TITANS exhibition at Fondaco Marcello in Venice. Photo by Giacomo Cosua (46).jpg
TITANS: A dialogue between materials, space and time
Venice, Italy
May 20–Oct 31, 2021
Past
BC - Wallace Chan Dragonfly Brooch_DF.jpg
Beautiful Creatures
American Museum of Natural History, New York, USA
Jun 12–Sep 19, 2021
Past
Parallel Dreams - Wallace Chan at Christies Shanghai (3).jpg
Wallace Chan: Parallel Dreams Solo Exhibition
Christie's, Shanghai, China
Jul 9–16, 2021
Past
WeChat Image_20210324232429.jpg
Eternal Seasons
Lévy Gorvy, Hong Kong, China
Mar 25–May 31, 2021
Past
the Butterfly Man-2020-poster.jpg
The Butterfly Man
Christie's, Shanghai, China
Oct 24–25, 2020
Past
_DSC0042.jpg
TEFAF
Maastricht, The Netherlands
Mar 7–15, 2020
Past
W_Chan_asia-476.jpg
SHAPESHIFTER: The Multiverse of Wallace Chan
Asia House, London, UK
Sep 14–17, 2019
Past
Wallace's Flying Frog 1.jpg
Jewels of Nature
Naturama Museum, Svendborg, Denmark
May 3–Jan 3, 2020
Past
TEFAF_Environment-3.jpg
TEFAF
Maastricht, The Netherlands
Mar 16–24, 2019
Past
WeChat 圖片_20190627122335.jpg
Shapeshifter — The Multiverse of Wallace Chan
Christie's, Hong Kong, China
Jan 14–25, 2019
Past
Tefaf-2018-EL17.jpg
TEFAF
Maastricht, The Netherlands
Mar 8–18, 2018
Past
Wallace Chan_TEFAF NY 2017_1 copy.jpg
TEFAF
New York, USA
Oct 28–Nov 1, 2017
Past
_MG_1952.jpg
TEFAF
Maastricht, The Netherlands
Mar 10–19, 2017

Artists

  • Wallace Chan