Wallace Chan's new book is 6.5 kilos of pure fantasy

Jeweller-philosopher-artist Wallace Chan arrives in London next month to launch his bewitching new autobiography.

Wallace Chan book cover

Chinese fireworks are set to explode when jeweller-philosopher-artist Wallace Chan brings his extraordinary gem-encrusted treasures to London for the first time.

The beautiful Wallace cut on this Now and Always necklace by Wallace Chan, as seen from the back. Photo by S Tung and F Tsang

Chan, attracted by the English capital’s international mix and its historic links to Hong Kong where he lives and works, launches his book Dream, Light, Water at the V&A Museum on 27 June. Within days of that he will go on to make his debut at Masterpiece, which runs from 30 June to 6 July. On previous visits, Chan found it “a dynamic fair and fast growing” and he believes it will continue to gain in importance for art, antiques and design. His presence as an exhibitor is bound to give it a rocket-powered boost. 

At the Biennale in Paris and TEFAF in Maastricht - the European fairs where he has already shown - Wallace Chan’s spectacular bejewelled sculptures attract crowds. Some are mesmerised by the sight of his fantastical pieces; some are passionate collectors. Indeed, his collectors are so avid that only a few of the 40 jewels at Masterpiece are still for sale.

Dream, Light, Water coffee table book
The Fluttery Ragtime brooch created by Wallace Chan is bursting with beauty and colour. Photo by S Tung and F Tsang

Dream, Light, Water is an opulent creation. Wallace Chan wears simple-framed eyeglasses and dresses in black. He has an aura of deep calm. It is no surprise, therefore, that the slipcase for his book is black cloth. But while there is something almost weightless about Mr Chan, that cannot be said for the book, which is a hefty 6.5 kilos. There is nothing calm about the explosion of coloured gemstones, technical wizardry and far-flung imagination that fills its 369 pages with brooches, necklaces, rings and earrings featuring fishes, insects, flowers, butterflies and bejewelled fantasies. Dream, Light, Water is Wallace Chan’s creative autobiography, and what a bewitching 40-year-long story it is.

Dream, Light, Water coffee table book
This extreme close-up of the Wallace Chan Heart In Bloom brooch shows the intricate detail of the petals.

The book opens with a black and white, front-facing portrait of Chan and closes with another - this time seen from the back. He appears to be walking away but he is very much still with us and still creating. With so much to feast on, ensure you spend time gazing at “Stilled Life” - this compelling Imperial jadeite cicada nestled in a densely bejewelled sculptural garden is his signature piece. It makes his life with him.

Dream, Light, Water is a limited edition of 2,000 copies. Priced at £185, it will be on sale at both Masterpiece and the V&A.

Editor's Pick

The Jewellery Editor is for sale

Help us make the future bright

Since founding The Jewellery Editor in 2010, we have grown our digital magazine to be the number one global source of information and inspiration for fine jewellery and luxury watches.

3,500 articles, 150 videos with over 5 million views and a reach of over 2 million per month on social media later, we have offered unparalleled and highly respected coverage of our sector. However, despite our editorial success, we are financially struggling as an independent publisher.

Entirely funded, owned and run by Christine and Maria in London, we are now looking to sell The Jewellery Editor so that it can continue to grow. As e-commerce becomes a priority in our industry, we believe there is huge potential for engaging editorial content and are seeking a buyer who shares our values and passion so that under their guidance we can give a bright future to the platform and help us grow our business to the next stage.

If you are interested to discuss the above, please contact [email protected]

Alternatively, if you are willing to help, you can donate so that in the meantime, we can continue to publish more interesting content.

Terms and conditions

Shop this article




We use our own and third party cookies to improve your experience and our services. If you continue, we consider that you accept their use. You can get more information on your website at cookies policy.