One-On-One With Wallace Chan: A Living Legend
Once again, Wallace Chan was the only jewler from Asia to exhibit at the 27th Biennale des Antiquaires in Paris, the top antiques, art and jewellery fair. Born in Fuzhou in China, Chan draws from various aspects of Chinese culture and from day to day life.
“People engaged in art might not know how to manage a brand and the first generation of any heritage brand should be an artist,” says Wallace Chan. For a man who believes that, Wallace Chan has surely become an internationally-recognised brand within a very short span of time, on par with some of the biggest names in the industry.
What started as a gemstone workshop in 1974, is now one is one of the finest jewelry brands in Asia, sought after by the most discerning of collectors from all over the world. Leading auction houses such as Christie’s and Sotheby’s and top museums exhibit Wallace Chan’s artwork, while his clinetèle is made up of movie stars and royalty. Haute Time sat down with Wallace Chan to find out what drives
How many pieces did you make for the 27th Biennale des Antiquaires?
None of my pieces were especially created for the Biennale or for that matter I do not create for any exhibition as such. I live in the process of creation everyday. It’s not right for a creator to create for a purpose. All the knowledge that I have and all the inspiration comes from my daily life, a day to day accumulation, creating art daily. The work would not be passionate enough if I create only for a show.
What have been the biggest challenges in your career until now, to showcase your work alongside brands like Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels, and Bulgari, which have a very long history and heritage?
The biggest challenge is in my heart. How I break through my own emotions or adjust to the ongoing mental state. In Chinese we have a saying (translated) “Heaven and hell is only one idea away”. If you can break through, it can become heaven for you. But, if you are stuck in your emotions, it can be hell. Another biggest challenge is time. Because there is too much that I want to create, and so I always feel I am running out of time and I have to sacrifice sleep to create.
The haute jewellery world is in awe of you. Your name is internationally renowned. What is the essence of Wallace Chan?
It is the first time I hear how important the name Wallace Chan is. I am just a new born baby, still curious about life. I am still trying to learn to become better. We should minimize our existence, think of ourselves as small, that is how we can grow. Sometimes, I think I am that person waiting for reincarnation. I believe the sun still rises and the world is still beautiful without Wallace Chan.