IN the heart of downtown Hubei province, lays a gargantuan sculpture. On display in front of the Fortune Plaza Times Square in Wuhan, the giant wooden sculpture of a roaring lion stands proudly in the Central Chinese city square. Over 47.5 feet long, 16.5 feet high, and 13 feet wide, the Oriental Lion is a force to be reckoned with. But, that isn’t all about this interesting Oriental lion.
The sculpting took over 3 years from conception to final finish and from the workshop transported 3000miles to the display point. The head, paws, and tail were been sculpted into a smooth finish, with the torso maintaining the trunk’s rough texture. The oriental lion was carved from a single redwood tree trunk under the specialist expertise of one of china renowned architects Dengding Rui Yao.
Mr Yao concluded the work with over 20 people assisting in one way or another. The project which was initiated in Myanmar, where the carving was finished, was completed on December of 2015.
Oriental Lions play a significant role in traditional Chinese culture. When Buddhism spread from India to China, so did many of its symbols, including the lion. Seen as protectors, lion statues became a common installation at the gates of imperial palaces, including the legendary Forbidden City in Beijing. Today, they can even be found outside of hotels and restaurants, just in case any evil spirits drifted from the Han dynasty into modern times.