Winged Beauty: The Butterfly Jewellery Art of 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.

On 1st October 2021, ACC Art Books published Winged Beauty.  I wrote the foreword and four jewellery historians wrote a chapter each on different elements of Chan’s life and practise.  They were Vanessa Cron who teaches the history of jewellery at Christies, Ming Liu a journalist who writes for the FT, Dr Emily Stoehrer jewellery curator at the Museum. ofFine Arts Boston and author Juliet Weir-de La Rochefoucauld.  The book features 50 of Chan’s buttefly jewels created over the last 50 years.

“Winged Beauty is a study of one of Chan’s main motifs. The butterfly in practical terms presents itself as a palette for expression. It’s also a universal symbol of rebirth” – Forbes

For the book tour Melanie has so far taken part in talks at New York Jewelry Week, The British Library, The National Gallery of Denmark and the Royal Collage of Art.  An American leg is planned for 2022.  With over 100 illustrations on 240 pages it is hardback and priced at £35.00.  It is Melanie’s second book

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