Born in China in 1956, Chan began his creative career as a carver at the age of 16 in 1973. His remarkable journey spans over half a century. Inspired by nature, philosophy and spirituality, Chan’s works seamlessly blend traditional techniques with innovative technologies. In his hands, butterflies, dragonflies, cicadas, tropical fish and more are intricately immortalised in precious materials.
The Hong Kong-based, self-trained artist has gained worldwide recognition for pioneering titanium’s unprecedented use in art. His material-focused practice encompasses jewellery, sculpture and carving, and has led to the creation of numerous innovations, including The Wallace Cut (1987), a patented jade technique (2002) and The Wallace Chan Porcelain (2018). To date, Chan is one of the only artists to use titanium in artworks of such colour, scale and complexity.
Honoured as a ‘Living National Treasure’ in China, Chan’s remarkable artistic contributions are featured in prestigious collections at the Museum of Fine Arts (Boston), The British Museum (London) and Capital Museum (Beijing).
In 2023, Christie’s partnered with Chan on The Wheel of Time, the largest exhibition of works by the master jewellery artist in Europe. The title of the exhibition served as a metaphor for Chan’s working process, since much of his jewellery is labour intensive, requiring meticulous attention to detail.
Chan’s art embraces traditional aspects of Chinese aesthetics, combined with respect for the intrinsic qualities of his working materials, the unique skill employed in carving them, and the sheer time element involved in their creation.