“For a period of time, people knew me as The Butterfly Man. The butterfly has meant a lot to me throughout my life. When I was a young boy, butterflies were flying colours. As I grew older I found them to be the embodiment of a great philosopher’s great philosophy – life is but a dream, only that we need to decide whether we want it to be the dream of a man, or the dream of a butterfly. I could not decide, so I became The Butterfly man.”
- Wallace Chan
On 1st October 2021, ACC Art Books will
publish Winged Beauty, a book by world
renowned jewellery artist, sculptor
and innovator Wallace Chan.
Winged Beauty is an unprecedented study of one of Chan’s main motifs - the butterfly which, in Chinese culture, is one of the most recognized symbols of love and immortality and have been reincarnated time and again through different art forms, including literature, music, painting, sculpture and jewellery.
Chan was enveloped and nurtured by traditional Chinese culture from a very young age and has called it his ‘spiritual hometown’. One of his favourite Chinese legends, the Butterfly Lovers, inspired him to create his ‘Fluttery’ brooches which capture the beauty and romance of butterflies.
Chan has continued to be inspired by this beautiful creature, by sealing real butterfly wings between the stones in his ‘Forever Dancing’ brooches.
The book is richly illustrated with over 100 images, including new commissioned and previously unseen works. It features 50 pieces of Wallace Chan’s butterflies created over the years, from brooches and earrings, to necklaces and rings, elaborated with his personal and cultural memories on butterflies.
Chan’s creativity and curiosity have led to a myriad of jewellery innovations over the past 5 decades, including: The Wallace Cut, an illusionary three-dimensional carving technique invented in 1987; the mastery of titanium in jewellery-making; a patented jade technology; the invention of elaborate gemstone settings without metal claws; and most recently, The Wallace Chan Porcelain, a groundbreaking material that is five times stronger than steel.
Winged Beauty is available to pre-order at all known established booksellers.
Who is he?
Wallace Chan (b. 1956) is a Chinese jewellery artist, sculptor and innovator. Wallace Chan has gained worldwide recognition by becoming the first Chinese jewellery artist to exhibit at prestigious art fairs like TEFAF Maastricht and Biennale des Antiquaires.
His works are in the permanent collections of the British Museum (2019), the Beijing Capital Museum (2010), and the Ningbo Museum (2010).
Chan has had solo exhibitions showcasing his jewellery and sculpture at Christie's (Shanghai, 2021); American Museum of Natural History (New York, 2021); Fondaco Marcello (Venice, 2021); Lévy Gorvy (Hong Kong, 2021); Christie's (Shanghai, 2020); TEFAF (Maastricht, 2020); Asia House (London, 2019); Christie’s (Hong Kong, 2019), the Gemological Institute of America Museum (Carlsbad, 2011); the Capital Museum (Beijing, 2010); Kaohsiung Museum of History (Taiwan, 1999), and Deutsches Edelsteinmuseum (Idar-Oberstein, 1992).
He has given talks and lectures at prestigious institutions including Christie's (Shanghai, 2021); China-Europe-America Cooperation Initiative (2021); ART021 (Shanghai, 2020); Christie's (Shanghai, 2020); De Maastricht Academy of Fine Arts and Design (Maastricht, 2020); the British Museum (London, 2019), Royal College of Art (London, 2019); University of Hong Kong (Hong Kong, 2019), Christie’s Education (Hong Kong, 2019); Gem-A (London, 2018); Sarabande Foundation: Established by Lee Alexander McQueen (London, 2018); Sciences Po (Paris, 2018); Harvard University (Cambridge, 2017); Central Saint Martins (London, 2017); V&A Museum (London, 2016) and Christie’s (Paris, 2014).
ACC Art Books
Who are they?
ACC Art Books is one of the world’s leading publishers and distributors of books on the arts and visual culture.
They sell and market beautiful books to retailers and wholesalers worldwide, making sure that they are available to the widest possible audiences.
Their own publications represent more than 50 years of innovation, including collaborations with some of the world’s foremost artists, fashion designers, architects and photographers. They began in 1966 by developing essential reference works on the decorative arts, many of which remain in print as the standard texts in their field. That included the first price guides to antique silver and furniture, along with definitive volumes on jewellery, British art and British architecture. Today ACC continues those traditions by working with many leaders in the fields of culture and bespoke luxury.
Just as importantly, ACC Art Books represent nearly 100 fine publishers from the UK, Europe, USA, China, India and Thailand. Their range includes important monographs and exhibition catalogues from galleries and museums such as the Royal Academy, Ashmolean and National Galleries of Scotland; beautiful art, design, gift and lifestyle books from 5 Continents, Abbeville Press, Arnoldsche, Beta Plus, E/P/A, Gallimard, Glitterati, Hoxton Mini Press, Images, Lannoo, Pointed Leaf Press, Scala and Scheidegger & Spiess; and superb guides to world travel from Emons and Luster.
Who wrote it?
Winged Beauty begins with a foreword from the artist himself in an interview.
It also features individual essays by four jewellery experts who, through the lens of a different thematic focus, dissect the meaning and significance of Chan’s work.
The Power of Freedom: A dialogue between Melanie Grant and Wallace Chan
Vanessa Cron: The Permanence of the Ephemeral
Emily Stoehrer: Parallel Dreams
Juliet Weir-de La Rochefoucauld:
The Creative Spirit
Ming Liu: Present and Future
Melanie Grant has been a journalist for over 20 years having worked at the Times, the Financial Times, the Independent, the Guardian, the BBC and, more recently, the Economist, where she is the Luxury
Editor of 1843 Magazine, their lifestyle sister publication. Her first book on the jewel as art titled Coveted: Art and Innovation in High Jewelry was published by Phaidon in October 2020.
Vanessa Cron is a jewellery historian who specialises in provenance research and the history of jewellery design. Vanessa has researched major jewels during her time working for one of the most important expert dealers in antique jewellery and exceptional gemstones, and after that at Christie’s as Jewellery Archivist and Senior Cataloguer.
Dr Emily Stoehrer
Emily Stoehrer is the Rita J. Kaplan and Susan B. Kaplan Curator of Jewelry at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. At the MFA she oversees a collection that spans nine curatorial departments and six thousand
years of history. Stoehrer has curated exhibitions and written on various aspects of adornment.
Juliet Weir-de La Rochefoucauld
She started her career working with Sotheby’s in London before moving to Paris, where she worked within the system of ‘commissaire-priseurs’. She has
published several books on jewellery, which include 21st-Century Jewellery Designers – An Inspired Style and Women Jewellery Designers, both published by ACC Art Books.
Ming Liu is a journalist and author who writes about jewellery, watches and luxury for the world’s leading publications. She contributes regularly to the Financial Times, International New York Times, Vogue, Tatler and CNN Style, and is also the watch and jewellery contributing editor for the London magazine, The Glossary.