Wallace Chan is a Hong Kong-based Asian artisan jeweller who is best talked for his changeable creation and who is loved for his best jewels. He is known for creating intricate designs within carved gemstones. He is often cited as being favoured by jewellery fans because of his unique designs. He sculpts with a delicacy of touch that defies boundaries and uses light as the leitmotif for his colourful, sensual jewels. His creations reflect his Zen philosophy and reveal unique craftsmanship invented by his persistence in innovation. They are feather-like jewels carrying messages of the past to become the heritage of the future.
Wallace Chan 'Soaring Spirit' brooch with a central feature 17.67ct tsavorite garnet, 3.12ct yellow diamonds, fancy coloured diamond beads, ruby, pink sapphire and titanium.
What does Wallace Chan like to do in his free times? Freedom is kind of creation. My life is composed of creations.
What amazes Wallace Chan the most?
Our perception changes at different stages of life and time; if we make comparison based on our gained experience, when we look back, we would discover surprises.
What does Wallace Chan jewellery art teach?
I create through interdisciplinary experiments. My experience tells me, that knowing the concepts of science is just as important as knowing how to make jewelry.
What was your first inspiration jewellery that made you to become who you are today?
When I was 16, I started carving gemstones. That is when I met my first stone, it was a piece of malachite. This material began my story with gemstones, I got lost in the swirls of the deep green colors. My curiosity increased through time, and I started to explore the properties of different kinds of gems. Mother Nature nurtured these gemstones that narrate stories of the universe. The colors, crystal structures, textures and forms of gemstones captivate me, they reveal the relationship between humans, nature and the universe, in the past and present. Even now after 40 years, I am still just a curious person ever thirsty for knowledge and the freedom to create. This has subconsciously become a habit of mine.
His Majesty’s Treasure Necklace. 19th Century Qianlong Imperial Mark Double Vase (Yingxiong Ping) Lapis Lazuli, Diamond, Ruby, Tsavorite Garnet. Wallace Chan.
How do you create your designs? What’s the aesthetics of your art? Are they a part of your own creation or dream or the plan that you have been longing for long to make?
When I face different materials and techniques, I empty myself. When you empty yourself, you allow these materials and techniques to flow freely in your mind. When possibilities and impossibilities connect and overlap, you unlock the door to endless inspiration. Your mind puts the puzzles together and is able to think out of the box.
Wallace Chan Buttfly Creation, unveiled TEFAF 2018.
Do you get pleasure or some sort of relieve to see your jewellery go or is it the opposite and you are more connected to the piece?
It is important not to stay in the past, so we can create the future. Every piece undoubtedly has a special place in my heart, but if it can serve a greater purpose one day, I will be happy to part with it.
What obstacles and limitations did you meet before reaching this point?
I only spent a few years in school when I was a child. I had to quit at a very young age because my family could not afford a formal education. I grew up with a sense of crisis all the time. I had to survive ever-changing and multidimensional competitions for time and space. When I had nothing, I pushed myself so hard that I did not have time for my own existence.
Do you have any plans to make jewellery around Silk Road of Asian Aesthetics? Like creating or designing any silk prints in your work?
I get inspirations from life, nature and the universe. Each creation is a puzzle I put together through five major elements i.e. craftsmanship, creativity, gemstones, emotions and cultures.
I made a brooch called “Apsara”, where I got the inspiration from the Silk Road. But I don’t want to copy history. I see history as a foundation for us to develop something new. What I do now must serve to reflect the spirit of our times.
Do you have any plan to visit other parts of the continent like maybe Uzbekistan, where the Silk Road connects China?
I keep learning in order to acquire more knowledge, which lets me explore the possibilities of creation and interdisciplinary conducts. I enjoy visiting different places because it gives me chances to absorb knowledge from daily life.
Wallace Chan earrings with titan, diamonds and sapphires.
What are the plans for Wallace Chan jewellery line in the future?
Any moment is the accumulation of the past. Now is the future.
What advice can you give to the young generation who are trying to step into jewellery world?
I observe with my mind's eye and practice with my action. When one crosses disciplines frequently to immerse themselves in a state where one's thoughts radiate and change, it is not difficult to see an unlimited world with endless possibilities.