The Wheel of Time: is the title of what promises to be the largest exhibition of Wallace Chan’s work in Europe. Christie’s is presenting the jewels-masterpieces of the Hong Kong master. The 150 jewels that make up The Wheel of Time will be exhibited at Christie’s King Street headquarters in London from 4 to 10 September. In addition to the jewels Wallace Chan presents six titanium sculptures, some of which have never before been seen in public. The works summarize the work of five decades. The exhibition is free and open to the public and is the fifth that Christie’s presents in collaboration with Wallace Chan, following the previous exhibitions in Hong Kong (2015, 2019) and Shanghai (2020, 2021). Most of the pieces on display, created over the past half century, have been lent by many of Chan’s major international collectors.
We are delighted to bring the imagination of Wallace Chan to London and present this unique exhibition celebrating five decades of artistic excellence. Our fifth collaboration with Chan reaffirms Christie’s longstanding relationship with the artist and we look forward to welcoming visitors to the exhibition.
Mei Y Giam, Private Sales Director, Christie’s Jewellery
It is not easy to describe Chan’s work, which ranges from the traditional canons of Chinese aesthetics with an imagination without ethnic boundaries combined with an astonishing technical ability. The highlight of the exhibition is Legend of the Color Black, an extraordinary brooch-sculpture with black diamonds. The impressive center stone of the piece, one of the largest known cut black diamonds in the world, weighs 312.24 carats, along with silver gray diamonds, crystalline sapphire, black agate, titanium and Wallace Chan porcelain, a material Chan employed years to develop and which is five times stronger than steel.
Another noteworthy piece is The Joy of Life brooch, with one of Chan’s most prominent motifs, a charming butterfly, composed of pink sapphire, sapphire, tsavorite garnet, diamond, yellow diamond, pearl and titanium.
A deeply philosophical man, Wallace infuses his jewels with oriental spiritualism. This is why he spends his entire creative life interpreting and reinterpreting, experimenting with endless combinations of gemstones, mediums, styles, aesthetics, and executed with his world-renowned techniques.
François Curiel, President, Christie’s Europe
Wallace Chan, born in 1956 started as a gemstone carver in 1973 at the age of 16. He is an artist, but also an innovator: The Wallace Cut is an illusory three-dimensional carving technique invented in 1987. He has a strong ability in titanium processing, and has patented a technology to enhance the brightness of jadeite. Chan’s works are in the permanent collections of the Long Museum, Shanghai (2023), Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (2023), British Museum (2019), Capital Museum of China (2010) and Ningbo Museum (2010). He has held solo exhibitions with his works at Fondaco Marcello (Venice, 2021 and 2022), Canary Wharf (London, 2022), Christie’s (Shanghai, 2021), Asia House (London, 2019), Christie’s Gallery (Hong Kong, 2019) , Gemological Institute of America Museum (Carlsbad, 2011), the Capital Museum of China (Beijing, 2010), the Kaohsiung Museum of History (Taiwan, 1999) and Deutsches Edelsteinmuseum (Idar-Oberstein, 1992).
In the blink of an eye, half a century flew by. I am honored by the opportunity to present my largest exhibition in Europe at Christie’s in London. My heartfelt thanks go to Christie’s for supporting my creative journey over the years and around the world. I am also grateful to my longtime collectors for lending the pieces, without their friendship the exhibition would not be possible. Time is an eternal wheel that spins endlessly with no beginning or end. In the creative process, time is such an intangible yet omnificent theme.