Chimlong’s Hengqin Bay Hotel, Zhuhai, China, 2013

The sheer scale of the Hengqin Bay Hotel, the largest hotel in China with 1,888 guest rooms, is immediately overwhelming the moment you step into the main entrance lobby. Six massive floor-to-ceiling dolphin statues surround the intricate hand-formed glass sculpture designed and developed by B. Jane Cowie and Art Glass Solutions. Numerous concepts were developed and presented to Chimlong’s Design Group, before finally confirming the coral reef concept proposal.

Coral reefs are the result of millions of years of co-evolution among algae, invertebrates and fish. They are crowded with complexity and diversity, places where fish can evolve many and varied methods to survive and cohabituate. Finding food and protection within the many crevices and curves of a coral reef means a diverse range of fish can live closely together within complex ecosystems and biodiversity.

From afar the artwork appears as a brilliant illuminated mass of colourful swirling tendrils. Upon approach, a myriad of sea creatures living within the coral tentacles can be seen. The movement and flow of the ocean’s currents are captured in the fluid movement of the hot glass tendrils which radiate from the central structure.

Instantly stunning, brightly coloured and certainly alluring, the artwork contains many and varied stories about differences, diversities and marine cohabitation – living together in harmony.