Christie’s to Host 156 Artworks by Wallace Chan
Christie’s will host “The Wheel of Time,” Europe’s largest exhibition of Wallace Chan’s art to date. The event will take place from September 4 to 10 at the auction house’s King Street headquarters in London and is open to the public.
The show will feature 150 jewelry creations and six titanium sculptures that represent the 50-year creative life of the Hong Kong artist and craftsman, Christie’s said Monday. It will include some of his best-known innovations as well as never-seen-before designs. Most of the items are on loan from Chan’s international collectors.
“In the blink of an eye, half a century has flown by,” Chan said. “Time is an eternal wheel that rotates for infinity with neither beginning nor end. In the creative process, time is a theme so intangible, yet omnificent.”
Among the items that will be on display is the Legend of the Color Black, a shoulder brooch sculpture featuring a black diamond weighing 312.24 carats, which the auction house says is one of the largest known cut black diamonds in the world. It rests alongside silver-grey diamonds, crystal sapphire, black agate, titanium and the Wallace Chan Porcelain, a material he produced that is unbreakable and five times stronger than steel.
The Legend of the Color Black. (Christie’s)
Another previously unseen piece is a brooch called The Joy of Life, which features a colorful butterfly comprising pink sapphire, sapphire, tsavorite garnet, diamond, yellow diamond, pearl and titanium.
Other items are testament to important milestones in Chan’s career. These achievements include The Wallace Cut, a gem-carving technique he invented in 1987 that produced an illusionary three-dimensional figure inside the gem. An additional method highlighted is a patented luminosity-enhancing technology for jadeite that “sends light racing and pulsating along the material’s surface,” according to Chan.
Wallace Chan. (Christie’s)
The exhibition serves as a metaphor for Chan’s labor-intensive work process, his meticulous attention to detail, his recreation of Chinese aesthetics and his respect for the intrinsic qualities of his working materials, said François Curiel, chairman of Christie’s Europe. It also pays tribute to the unique skill he employs in crafting the materials.
“A deeply philosophical man, Wallace infuses his jewels with Oriental spiritualism,” Curiel said. “This is the motif which he spends his entire creative life interpreting and reinterpreting, experimenting with endless combinations of gemstones, mediums, styles, aesthetics, and executed in his world-renowned techniques.”
Main image: The Joy of Life. (Christie’s)