At Dunhuang, Dennis Chan cried. He cried in awe for the civilization he had found, and he cried for the treasures that his country had lost. At that moment, in front of the Mogao caves, Chan made the decision that led to the establishment of Qeelin. At the very beginning, his visions for the brand were clear.
For Chan there was always this intriguing question: “Why was it that we Chinese have such a rich and varied culture, with so much legacy and so many advanced crafts, and yet there was not an international luxury brand that told of China’s fascinating past?”
Qeelin was his answer to the question, and the brand would be all about pride. “I decided to build a brand there and then,” he recalls. “To build a brand that could achieve the same momentum, and embody the same glory I had seen in the Dunhuang caves. A brand to make the Chinese proud, and to amaze people from the west once again. Just as we did in Marco Polo’s day.”
From the beginning Chan insisted on heritage and legacy, and for those reasons determined that Qeelin should make handcrafted jewellery. “Jewellery is something that people pass on from generation to generation,” explains Chan. “It is actually a characteristically Chinese thing. We have always wanted to pass on our tradition, our heritage, and our wealth. But not just to the next generation,” he stresses. “I want to pass on something to Chinese people, and to the world.”
Ultimately Qeelin’s mission is transmission, way beyond China’s borders, fulfilling Chan’s vision, “to bring contemporary Chinese design to the world and present a new vision of timeless Chinese sophistication through jewellery.”