The not-so-commonly known astronomical term "double star" refers to two distant stars that are viewed as one from the earth, for they have been visually aligned in such a way that creates an optical illusion for observing scientists.
This creation is a light-filled maze with many paths. It poses similar questions as the astronomical phenomenon once did to scientists: Is what we see with our own eyes necessarily real? Is what is presented to us always the truth?
When the creation is viewed face up and from atop, every detail - from the immaculate curves of the aquamarine to the intimate distance between the aquamarine and the pink porcelain - suggests that the aquamarine is oval-shaped and set on the porcelain. Other assumptions may also be made: the porcelain used is pink; there are only two pink sapphires surrounding the fancy-colored diamond, and no other gemstones are present besides those immediately visible.
These observations are instantly refuted once the wearer gently tilts the ring to its side. The aquamarine in reality is an eclipsed oval, and is set on a layer of titanium thin as paper; the shank is made of white porcelain that contrasts the pink atop significantly; a pink sapphire larger than the other two combined is set covertly underneath the fancy-colored diamond, and diamonds that were invisible from atop interweave with the ring like stems clinging to the trunk of a tree. "Hidden" passageways also exist. The creator intricately carved a path inside the aquamarine, upon which he set rows of petite diamonds. Gemstones within gemstones represent worlds within worlds, waiting to be uncovered.
This creation displays an optical illusion encompassing different realities at different angles - much like the universe itself, and much like life itself, where there are countless approaches and angles to be taken, and wonders yet to be uncovered. Being a part of the universe means allowing the universe to play a part in us. This fundamental lesson is embodied in this intriguing, wearable sculpture created by one of its most curious students.
SHAPESHIFTER: Solo Exhibition of Wallace Chan, Christie's Gallery, Hong Kong, 2019 TEFAF Maastricht, The Netherlands, 2019 Asia House, London, The UK, 2019
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