A skeleton of a massive sea serpent emerging from the waves along the banks of the Loire River near Nantes, France is truly an amazing sight for visitors. Conceptualized and created by Chinese-French contemporary artist Huang Yong Ping for the Estuaire 2012 contemporary art exhibition, the work titled “Ocean Serpent” is a metal sculpture based on Chinese mythology.
Now permanently installed as part of the Estuaire NantesSaint-Nazaire open-air collection, the sculpture is one of 33 works by renowned artists, presented along the 60 km Nantes to Saint-Nazaire artistic route. Nazaire. This unusual public art exhibit can be explored by bike, car or boat.
Located in the commune of Saint-Brevin-les-Pins on the edge of the Loire estuary, where the river meets the Atlantic Ocean, the enormous sea serpent – projecting a terrifying form – rises from the sea with the rhythmic movement of the waves that make it live. The spine of this prehistoric creature mimics the curve of the local Saint-Nazaire bridge to sit in harmony with its surroundings.
“By making a major figure of Chinese mythology appear on European shores, Huang Yong Ping questions the notions of identity and cultural hybridity, as is often the case in his work. The environmental question is also very present in his art where he regularly exposes the paradox of the man sawing the branch on which he is sitting, torn between creative capacities and destructive impulses. This is one of the many possible interpretations of this work: placed on the beach, the skeleton appears with the tide and will gradually shelter the marine fauna and flora”, specifies Estuaire.
Images: Contemporary art exhibition Estuaire 2012