From the initial design concepts, public art was viewed as an opportunity to activate the building envelope of Central Presbyterian Church. Through a formal selection process, artist Michael Lin was chosen to create the art work for the large and varied architectural canvas that would announce CPC’s rebirth on the site and provide the architectural expression for the first six floors.
A simple and unadorned cross was repeated to create a pattern that de-emphasizes its form, and instead becomes part of a larger whole. Over 1,000 crosses move organically across each panel of the facade for a total of nearly 200,000 crosses. The abstraction is a vehicle for inexhaustible contemplation.
Titled RGB, the art work consists of red, green and blue colour panels that not only symbolize the holy trinity, but also diversity and inclusion. The effect of the colours in pattern create the illusion of stained glass, a form that is inextricably connected to the church and devotional art. The title references the RGB additive colour model, which uses red, green and blue to reproduce colors with light. Electronic devices such as TVs, computer monitors and mobile phone displays use the RGB colour model. Unlike subtractive colour systems, where the eye perceives colour by reflection, additive colour is presented to the eye by emission, by adding red, green and blue light together at different intensities to produce a spectrum of colours.
As Lin articulates, the project aspires to capture the qualities that musician Brian Eno ascribes to ambient music, “…to accommodate many levels of…attention without enforcing one in particular; [to be] ignorable as it is interesting.” Or, to focus on tone and atmosphere rather than form or structure.