Like most fairs this year, Tefaf New York will be different. As well as moving online, it is only allowing its exhibitors to showcase a single piece during the digital fair, and Wallace Chan has just the masterpiece for the occasion.
The jewellery artist will use his slot at Tefaf Online to showcase a masterpiece that he created back in 2014, his In Love With Spring brooch. It is a design that showcases both Wallace’s gift for storytelling through jewels and his drive to push technical boundaries.
The Wallace Chan In Love With Spring butterfly brooch is a celebration of colour, with his signature titanium heated to achieve a rich red shade. At the centre of this fantastical creature is an 8.24ct imperial topaz, tipped with emeralds. Rubies, emeralds, yellow and white diamonds, orange sapphires and tsavorite garnets create a rich display on the wings of the butterfly.
The setting of so many gemstones on such a delicate design – the wings of the In Love With Spring brooch are angled just so to make it appear as though the butterfly is in mid flight – was a meticulous job. The gems swirl together to create a dazzling show inspired by trees and flowers.
Wallace, who gave a lecture at The Jewellery Cut Live last year, describes the colourplay of his In Love With Spring brooch as “flying colours” – an ode to a childhood memory. “When I first saw butterflies as a child, I did not know that butterflies were called butterflies,” he says. “I asked my mother: ‘What are these flying colours?’. Since then, butterflies have always been flying colours in my eyes.”
Tefaf Online will run online from November 1st to 4th, 2020. The digital art fair will showcase 300 masterpieces, each presented by a different artist or dealer, and first vetted by an independent committee to ensure it is a worthy representation of that exhibitor’s expertise.
Also taking place this season, Christie’s Shanghai will host a two-day Wallace Chan exhibition and lecture series on October 24th and 25th.