By Maria Doulton in London
Since his first appearance at the Biennale des Antiquaires in 2012, Wallace Chan has become something of a celebrity in the world of jewellery. So daring, so meticulously crafted and so original are his creations that his followers just can't wait to see what he will dream up next.
And from the preview I saw in Paris in early July, Wallace Chan's presence at the Biennale des Antiquaires this year will not disappoint. As much jewels as sculptures, here is a taste of what to expect from Wallace Chan when the Biennale opens its doors at the Grand Palais this autumn.
"I create because I have stories to tell," explains Wallace Chan. So look no further than The Mighty brooch, an impressive piece shaped like an ant the size of my hand. The story here is that Wallace Chan was inspired by the mighty strength of the ant, capable of lifting 100 times its weight and an untiring team player within the complex ant colony. I had the chance to try on The Mighty. Pinned to the shoulder of my dress, he was - believe it or not - so light that I almost forgot he was sitting there. The ant's head and abdomen are made of two baroque pearls while rubellites, yellow and pink sapphires and diamonds bring sparkle to this extraordinary insect. Clasped in his delicate titanium pincers is a pink tourmaline carved with a leaf design.
Gleams of Waves is another example of Wallace Chan's remarkable talent as a sculptor. Shimmering with pink sapphires, rubies and yellow diamonds, the billowing tail of the fish swishes fluidly as diamond bubbles escape from his mouth.
The Mon Rêve ring is, comparatively speaking, a more traditional jewel. Wallace Chan has paired a 29.22 carat vibrant green tourmaline with a 12.38 carat colour-infused rubellite. The stones slope towards each other, evoking an ethereal construction framed by a night sky of dark lapis lazuli, with twinkling diamonds, pink sapphires and majestic lilac tsavorites. According to Chan, the dreamy combination "represents beauty, simplicity and elegance".
Look out for these and more wonders from Wallace Chan, who is becoming one of the most sought-after jewellery designers of our times, this September.