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A striking combination of innovative design, sublime craftsmanship, revolutionary technique and oriental philosophy, Wallace Chan is the magician who creates jewellery that takes one to a magical world. From a sculptor to a world-renowned jewellery designer, Priyanka Desai finds out more about the jewellery artist. Read on to know more about life, love and inspirations of Wallace Chan, the magician.
By: Diamond World News Service
Oct 22 2012 1:53PM
Reference: 7344  

Meet Wallace Chan. He is the iconic jewellery designer whose creative forces go beyond jewellery. Most sought after by the elegant divas and acclaimed art collectors, Wallace Chan has become a name to reckon with. Leading auction houses such as Christie’s and Sotheby’s, as well as world-class museums and galleries, exhibit Wallace Chan jewellery and artwork. Imperial families and the glitterati brigade are lifetime patrons of this heady designer’s work. Driven by passion, elevated by innovation and infused with natural elements, his designs are a page turner in the gem and jewellery industry. “The nature is a selfless source of inspiration which benefits me by adding to my designs the soulful touches, and guides me towards a world where emotions and materials sing in harmony. Each piece of my jewellery art has its own nature, its own innate character and quality,” expresses the legendary designer.

Wallace Chan draws on years spent working on Buddhist art, for pieces with strong symbolism. A former sculptor, turned cameo artist, the Hong Kong based designer creates more than just jewellery. He weaves a story around each piece that lends his designs an ethereal quality. Highly inspired by nature and holy animals of the eastern philosophies, his designs are an entrance to a fantasy world. There are two cores to his creative process—human existence and jewellery as a symbol. “To me, creativity starts with the very fact of my own existence. If I erase every preconceived concept and frame of reference that I have, start from an empty beginning and look at everything with the eyes of a baby, that’s when creativity comes in. When designing a jewellery, if you can erase yourself and enter into a dialogue with the stone you hold in your hands, creativity will come naturally,” explains Wallace.

His designs are versatile, innovative and true conversationalists. “I strive for fluidity, movement, and changing light. I don't want to just create jewellery that features a lot of expensive stones set in an appealing way. I want dramatic pieces, jewellery that never ceases to amaze the beholder with newly discovered elements, different sensations and delightful montage effects that add to the special story of each of my pieces,” says he.

They say only when you lose a something truly special to you, you make it your goal to find it within you or recreate. Wallace too, faced a hurdle where he lost his dear friend and mentor but not letting it affect him adversely, he took it as a boost to become spiritually connected to life making his creativity further refined.

“In around the year of 2000, one of my good friends, who was also an inspiring mentor to me, passed away, I felt like I lost my backbone, thus I followed a Master to a journey around countries practicing Zen. After about 6 months, I began to think about how the limitless world of thinking can break through the material world that is full of limitations. There is no end to the size of a jewel, and there is no way to obtain the biggest and the best, thus we should instead seek spiritual enhancement, and a designer’s duty is to display the jewellery’s depth,” the spiritual designer reminisces.

While talking about his foray in this glittering world of gem and jewellery, he shares,” I grew up in Hong Kong, spending my youth mastering Eastern sculpture and the Western art of gemstones. After twenty years of sculpting I traveled to Europe to study the art of this Continent.” This intriguing journey of life can be seen in his designs. Not restricting himself to sculptures, he gained a grip over carving and mastered the art of cameo and intaglio carving techniques. In the mid 1980s he invented the ‘Wallace Cut’ - a carved image using reflective techniques that resemble that of cameos, intaglios and gem faceting. This laid the foundation stone for the exciting onset of his career as a jewellery designer.

His adventures in working with colourful gemstones, varied precious metals and innumerable textures have added to the grace of millions of divas across the world. His designs emit an ‘experience-another world’ edge. The obsessive-compulsive need to create each piece as an exclusive piece of art fills him with creative visions. “My perception towards life urges me to experiment with different shapes, different outlines, and the chemical reactions of different metals, until they seem right as a vehicle to express my feelings, to tell the unique story of each piece of my jewellery art,” says Wallace.

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