Sapphire, Aquamarine, Diamond, The Wallace Chan Porcelain and Titanium
This creation has been in the permanent collection of the British Museum in London, The UK, since September 2019. It is the first Chinese contemporary jewelry creation in the museum’s collection. It is also the first jewelry piece the artist created with The Wallace Chan Porcelain, a material five times harder than steel.
Many centuries ago, Chinese astronomers observed something no one had ever seen before. The object shimmered like a star, but its sparkle did not fade so quickly. It didn't soar across the sky like a comet. It shined far brighter, for far longer: it was a supernova.
Supernovas occur an average of three times every 100 years. But when the creator is at work, time extends and space expands: there is a century in every minute, every hour, every day.
In A New Generation, three sapphires represent a century's supernovas. Together, they appear so vibrant, they outshine entire galaxies. The qualities of supernovas lead to associations with vitality and brightness, both of which are ever-changing forms. The look and feel of the porcelain securing the gems reflects such dynamic features. In light, during every moment and from any angle, a new aspect of the porcelain's lustrous beauty shines forth.
The amorphous shape of the ring inspires endless associations. While its silhouette would likely strike one as futuristic, it's also reminiscent of a figure rich in tradition - the peapod. In Chinese culture, the peapod carries auspicious meanings. Jade peapods are often given to couples on their wedding day, as they are believed to bring fertility and good fortune. The three peas symbolize newborns, while the pod indicates wealth.
Like many works of the creator, A New Generation blends stories from the past with the spirit of today. In taking porcelain, a material rich in culture and history, and transforming it into a material of exceptional hardness, lustre, and color, he gives it a new life. Paired with titanium, a space-age metal, the innovation's unexpected qualities encourage one to give a closer look and further thought. With a band intricately carved to resemble human muscle - a symbol of energy, strength and courage - the vivid innovation literally stands on its own.
Permanent Collection, The British Museum, London, The UK, 2019
SHAPESHIFTER: Solo Exhibition of Wallace Chan, Christie's Gallery, Hong Kong, 2019 TEFAF Maastricht, 2019 The British Museum, London, 2019
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