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A person walks by a large glass sculpture by Warren Carther diplayed in a corporate lobby in Hong Kong

The Chronos Trilogy (1998), a permanent installation of three monumental glass sculptures “Sea of Time,” “Vestige,” and “Approach of Time” by Canadian artist Warren Carther, is located in Lincoln House, Taikoo Place, Hong Kong. This glass sculpture installation was curated and managed by James Cavello and Margarite Almeida of Westwood Gallery NYC, along with the accomplished Hong Kong corporate art consultant, Alison Pickett. The artwork is one of the largest glass sculpture commissions in the world, an artistically rendered thirty-five metric ton homage to the past, present, and future history of Hong Kong. The sculptures landmark the large foyer of Lincoln House, a twenty-three-story commercial tower. Lincoln House and Swire Properties received the first Hong Kong award for the highest Platinum building ratings for WELL, LEED and BEAM.

The artistic and cultural goal was to commission a grand-scale work in keeping with the architectural environment and the vibrant history of the region while also being visible through the glass-enclosed lobby. Swire Properties, known for excellence in mixed-use building development projects in Hong Kong, commissioned the trilogy after reviewing several well-known contemporary international artists. Warren Carther was selected from a proposal submitted by James Cavello and Margarite Almeida. The glass artwork was defined and created with interwoven symbols from Chinese and British culture, as well as consideration of the architectural design, the light, the important regional location, and metropolis of Hong Kong.

The artist, Warren Carther, from Winnipeg, Canada, has worked with glass throughout his career, creating grand-scale glassworks for international corporations, embassies, and private collections. His work is unlike that of any other artist; his styles and technique combined with his understanding of the structural qualities of glass enable him to create glassworks of unique form and immense scale. Warren utilizes concepts beyond the current understanding of glass and its properties, stretching the boundaries of art and architecture. 

Carther, together with his studio assistants, devoted eighteen months and hundreds of long days to the project. Shipped to Hong Kong from the artist's studio, the glass was installed over 4 months and unveiled with outstanding reviews by the international public audience.


On a scale never before seen with glass, “Sea of Time” measures 27 feet high by 100 feet wide (8.2 x 30.4 meters) and was created in dichroic glass that reflects and refracts light. This freestanding work has enormous undulating curves as it waves in and out through the ground floor space. As Hong Kong is surrounded by sea, a reference to water is created through enormous curves in the sculpture.

"Sea of Time" represents the present, but it is also about transition, the passage of time from the past to the future. Movement is personified by shapes carved within the glass, uniquely achieved by the artist through skillful sandblasting. Deeply carved waves and repetitive patterns of texture and color draw an analogy to the sea and its ceaseless rhythms. Along the sculpture's over 100 feet horizontal span, patterns of disks similar to those in "Vestige" evolve into richly colored squares and contemporary architectural grids.

“Sea of Time” is the largest of the three sculptures.




The second sculpture is 27 feet tall by 16 feet wide (8.2 x 4.8 meters) and curves in an arc attached to the south core wall. The carved glass has several dichroic glass disk shapes laminated to its surface. The dichroic glass transmits a yellow hue and reflects blue that is intensified by utilizing computer-controlled lighting to switch between interior and exterior illuminations. The lights are programmed to operate in a barely perceptible movement, akin to the speed of a minute hand on a clock, but not corresponding to any particular measure of time.

"Vestige" deals with the past; its inspiration is drawn from ancient Chinese ceramics and bronzes. The pattern of the yellow/blue diachronic disks is reminiscent of the patterns found on Chinese bronzes. Other historical references come from the X's found within a bronze rectangle. They are a symbolic link between Chinese and British history and introduce a sub-theme of architecture. Early Chinese sculptural ceramics that depict traditional Chinese dwellings are often shown with doors reinforced with boards in an X shape, strikingly similar to English Tudor-style houses.




The third work, spanning 40 feet high and 12 feet wide (12.1 x 3.6 meters), is the tallest free-standing glass sculpture in the world. It rises above the ground floor and continues upward stopping just below the second floor.

"Approach of Time" anticipates the future, as it rises in an optimistic gesture. A grid pattern represents office tower architecture and the evolution towards the digital world and whatever follows. By day, "Approach of Time" is a transparent wash of pink, yellow, russet, and gray. At night it changes to glowing tones of bronze and silver, highlighted by brilliant blue figures suggesting plan and section views of a ship's hull, an allusion to Hong Kong's maritime heritage and the fact that the land underneath Lincoln House was once a shipyard. All this is built upon an underlying grid that echoes the final panels of "Sea of Time" and refers to modern office towers, the digital world, and the future.

The artist Warren Carther states, "Without the past, there is no future, they are inseparably linked. With this in mind, I created two metallic silver rectangles within which lay images that suggest a plan view and a section view of a ship. This refers to the fact that Taikoo Place was once the site of shipbuilding and that shipping created Hong Kong. The dichroic glass X's within the ship forms refer back to the X's in Vestige, linking the future and the past." 

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