Ocean Serpent by Huang Yong Ping

Serpent d'océan de Huang Yong Ping

Since 2012, in France where the river Loire meets the Atlantic Ocean, you can see this 130 meters long skeleton of a giant snake. In the background is the port of St Nazaire and the shipyards.

Huang Yong Ping is an artist born in China in Xiamen in 1954. He came to France for an exhibition in 1989, at the time of the Tiananmen events, he then decided to stay in the country which welcomed him as a political refugee where he is naturalized French. He died in his adopted country in 2019.

He appeals to his culture with this emblematic serpent of Chinese mythology, the Xiangliu, which is often found in the works of Huang Yong Ping. This mythological monster is venomous, it destroys nature where it is found, it causes floods… Huang Yong Ping likes to mirror elements of traditional Chinese culture with contemporary situations. This destructive snake is where the last wild river in Europe and the main French commercial port meet, a whole symbolism. Its shape also echoes the impressive bridge that connects St Nazaire to St Brevin les Pins passing over the estuary.

The sculpture is reflected in relation to its environment, the bottom of the tail is at the limit of low tides and the head at the limit of high tides. It changes according to the lights of the day, the clouds in the sky… By the way, I was rather lucky that day with this cloud-laden sky which creates a beautiful setting for this impressive sculpture.


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