Making Time

Translation By: 
Alice Kok
圖 photos courtesy of city of Dreams
City of Dreams has partnered with world-renowned designer Maarten Baas
City of Dreams has partnered with world-renowned designer Maarten Baas to unveil the Count:Down Clock in anticipation of its Phase 3 Launch in 2018
City of Dreams has marked the countdown to its launch of its Phase 3 and opening of the new Morpheus hotel concept, by commissioning the award-winning designer Maarten Baas to create an art piece at The Countdown Hotel. The Count:Down Clock is the first real-time clock that Baas has created in Asia, and also his first ever installation in Macau, and will count down the hours and minutes until the launch in 2018.
Baas is considered one of the most influential designers of the early 21st century. In 2015, design bible Wallpaper* named him one of the design world’s 100 most wanted people. His works straddle boundaries between art and design, occupying a unique position in the field, embodying conceptual art, craftsmanship, installation, public space and performance into his oeuvre. The artist is famous for his rebellious, intellectual, theatrical and artistic style. 
When asked what it is about The Netherlands that produces such groundbreaking design and designers, Baas says he believes tradition and strength play defining roles. 
“It’s a mix of circumstances. There’s a lot of attention on Dutch Design and art. We have a tradition in both disciplines, with Rembrandt, van Gogh, Mondriaan. And also more conceptual applied arts like Rietveld, Droog Design and Rem Koolhaas. We make each other stronger.”
Baas’ works are in major museum collections such as MoMA, The Victoria and Albert Museum, Les Arts Décoratifs, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Die Neue Sammlung, Stedelijk Museum and Rijksmuseum. In a private capacity, his work can be found in the collections of Brad Pitt, Kanye West and Ian Schrager.
“For me there are no boundaries. I use the discipline that fits best with my ideas, and I’m not limited by only design or only film. I like to mix. The truth is in the voids between the anchor points,” the artist told CLOSER over email from Amsterdam. 
To make the clock, Baas and his accomplished production team filmed six actors in real time as they carefully painted and then wiped away the numbers denoting all the hours and minutes in the day on a hazy etched glass face. Every number is therefore unique, with the filming alone taking 10 days.
“Time is something which is always related to a human life time, and human experience of time. Although clocks have a very exact mechanism, in which every minute is equal, in reality every minute is a unique experience. In a film I could demonstrate that even clearer,” Baas explains. 
“For this project, obviously we wanted to do something with the theme of counting down. Yet, there are plenty of ways to count down. The first thought was to make it look like real men who were all individually making a digit. There are digits for hours and digits for minutes. So some digits have to go very fast and others only change every 100 or 1,000 hours,” notes Baas.
“So there was this contrast between the activities, which I liked. I gave them all black suits, as if they are chic servers of the time, like a personal butler. This is based on the luxurious life in Macau, which was also an inspiration.” 
The art piece is the latest edition in Baas’ acclaimed Real Time series, a collection of 12-hour films in which actors indicate the time minute by minute. In 2009, Real Time earned Baas the prestigious title ‘Designer of the Year’ at Design Miami.
The highly anticipated new Morpheus hotel concept, named after the god of dreams, will feature some 780 rooms, restaurants, an executive lounge, a sky pool and VIP gaming and villas on the top floors. The tower was designed by the late architect Zaha Hadid.
Mr. Gabriel Hunterton, Property President of City of Dreams, said: “The forthcoming launch of City of Dreams Phase 3 and the opening of Morpheus mark the beginning of a bold new era for Macau, and so it is only fitting that we celebrate the countdown in groundbreaking and eye-catching style. 
“Maarten Baas is one of the most exciting and original design talents in the world today and we are delighted to work with him on this innovative project. I hope that our guests will enjoy this creative spectacle over the coming months and join with us in counting down to our eagerly anticipated launch of Phase 3 in 2018.”