Benevolence of the Qilin (Guardian, Qilin of the Center)
The Qilin, a traditional symbol of extraordinary talent, represents the element earth and the central position. The male is called qi, and the female lin; both are a composite of various creatures, including the deer, horse, cow, and fish. Since Qilin only appear in an age which is peaceful and prosperous, their appearance is regarded as a particularly auspicious omen. The Qilin is noted for its benevolence and gentle disposition. Like the earth, it is the root of all life. It selflessly bears all, looking after all earth’s creatures with benevolence. In this dynamic piece of glass sculpture the Qilin is depicted riding upon swirling auspicious clouds, highlighting its boundless divine power.
Associated with the four quadrants of the vault of heaven are the Azure Dragon of the East, the Vermillion Bird of the South, the White Tiger of the West, and the Black Tortoise of the North; in the center is the Qilin (unicorn). Each region corresponds to one of the five elements: metal (west), wood (east), water (north), fire (south), and earth (center). Moving across the night sky, the stars connect all life to the five elements. When the universe and elements are aligned, harmony ensues.
Sauntering at the brink of heaven, delivering flowers in its wake, the Qilin contains within benevolence for all the world's creatures. With an enlightened soul and impenetrable body, it is an eternal protector, a central force of good.