WALLACE CHAN CONTROVERSY, MASTERPIECE LONDON
You can’t begin to imagine the skill and mastery that goes into every piece of Wallace Chan‘s extraordinary creations, until you stand next to one that’s taller than you. It makes the heart beat like a butterfly and you just want to take flight. This was the thrill I felt when I finally got to experience the world of Wallace Chan at Masterpiece London. His breath-taking creations are like a gift to the world and part of a legacy that he wishes will be remembered in China’s 6000-year history with jewellery.

But the question still remains, is the jewellery world ready to embrace such works of art?

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The sculpture I mentioned earlier was just one of many designs on display. From sculptured carvings to stunning necklaces, Wallace Chan’s world encompasses them all. The giant peony called, Rise in Heart, is decorated with a million different jewels, and the King of Flowers and a symbol of love, feminine beauty, riches and honour. The pistil alone is encrusted with a few thousand pieces of rubies, citrines and amethysts, and butterflies spring from the titanium petals in the most glorious spectacle of colour.

But isn’t jewellery meant to be worn?

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When you take a look at Chan’s new coffee table book entitled, Dream Light Water, the sheer size of it gives you a clue into how broad and grand his library of works really are. To label him as just a jeweller is to do him a disservice. When you see how each design is crafted and the various skills that each one requires to construct with this much precision and beauty, the $56 million dollar price tag somehow seems justifiable. Or perhaps, it’s the Chan’s way of saying each one of his masterpieces is “priceless,” and way beyond what anyone could ever imagine paying.

Tell me what you think in the comments below. Let’s get a gemologue going on this topic, and explore this enchanting world of Wallace Chan together!

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SHOP THE LOOK:

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RISE OF HEART TITANIUM-GEMSTONE SCULPTURE:  RUBY 925PCS, 357.31CT, CITRINE 470PCS 3622.70CT AMETHYST 500PCS 1078CT, YELLOW DIAMOND

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STILLED LIFE BROOCH AND SCULPTURE: IMPERIAL JADEITE, LAVENDER JADE, RUBY, FANCY COLORED DIAMOND

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WITH ASSIA WEBSTER OF STEPHEN WEBSTER AND CAROL WOOLTON, JEWELLERY EDITOR OF BRITISH VOGUE

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THE PURSUER BROOCH: DIAMOND, YELLOW DIAMOND, PINK SAPPHIRE

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GEMOLOGUE by Liza Urla features exquisite global discoveries, trendy urban street style, exclusive interviews and rare jewellery reviews – a celebration of fine jewellery, fashion jewellery and vintage jewellery.

*Photographed by Flit Photography. Styling and Art Direction by Liza Urla. 

All photos belong to GEM Kreatives for GEMOLOGUE. Material on this website may not be copied, broadcasted or adapted without written consent.

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9 Responses to “WALLACE CHAN CONTROVERSY, MASTERPIECE LONDON”

  • I think his work is absolutely amazing! As an artist myself, I also find it very inspiring. Like you said, I don’t think he should be labeled as just a jeweller. To me, he is more an artist who happens to work with precious gems and metals. If some of it can be worn as jewelry, that’s great! If it’s too large, and more sculptural in nature, that’s fine too. Either way, it’s beautiful 🙂

  • The more diversity — the better! People may not like these particular types of work but this is still a step further. Who knows, maybe it will inspire others to explore similar aesthetics and will lead to something incredible. Let the experiments be!

  • What opulent works of art from Wallace Chan!

    I don’t see why precious stones and metals should be confined to jewellery only. Anyways, we have already seen many traditional bejewelled objet d’arts, so why not create proper pictures and sculptures from such luxurious materials. Decadence at its most beautiful!

  • The pieces are breathtaking! They are definitely more than just the jewellery and should be treated like art instead. I think it can be qualified as wearable and very expensive jewellery art piece. Maybe it’s a new niche for collectors who are tired from sculptures and paintings…

  • Wallace Chan is one of my favourite jewellers, or it is better to call him an artist. His jewellery masterpieces are incredible, jewellery to look at, not just to wear it. Magic!

  • I think Wallace Chan is stepping into the world of Sculpture at this point – many great jewelers seem to also be good at other things (like Dashi Namdakov with his Jewelry, Sculptures and Tapestry).

    If we re-frame Wallace Chan and as an artist rather than a jeweler (or at least a cross-platform artist), then we necessarily have to compare him not to other jewelers, but to other artists.

    However, even in this respect I believe Wallace Chan excels and sets himself apart simply because he has a deep and profound respect for beauty and workmanship. Such qualities are often ignored (if not shunned) in the world of contemporary art where artists seem concerned only with courting spectacle, controversy and outrage for their own sake (think Damien Hirst), and in many cases instances of sub-par ability is often rationalized or explained away as part of the ‘artistic concept’.

    Wallace Chan, like any good contemporary artist, manages to stir up similar feelings of intrigue, conflict and controversy by creating works that defy conventional categorization and force people to consider the possibility of what lies beyond, but his dedication to the old virtues of technique and perfection is as timeless as a Leonardo Da Vinci.

  • I loved his pieces at Masterpiece. I think that he is more than a jeweller (not to do jewellers any disservice). His pieces are works of art and talking points – long may he continue! It is great to see gems being used in ways that differ from the norm.