LifestyleSerpent sculpture enchants France's Atlantic coast

Serpent sculpture enchants France's Atlantic coast

Oceanic Snake Serpent d'Océan
Oceanic Snake Serpent d'Océan
Images source: © Adobe Stock

7:56 AM EDT, June 17, 2024

In France, where the Loire River flows into the Atlantic Ocean, an extraordinary sculpture resembles a sea monster emerging from the depths. It is one of the most surprising outdoor artworks ever created.

The sculpture Serpent d'Océan is a metal structure resembling the skeleton of a sea serpent. It is located on a beach in the commune of Saint-Brevin-les-Pins, near Nantes. The creator of this exceptional work is the Chinese-French artist and sculptor Huang Yong Ping.

The skeleton on the beach

The skeleton, which looks like archaeologists just unearthed, was created in 2012 for the Estuaire contemporary art exhibition. For years, this exhibition has invited renowned artists worldwide to create their works in the natural surroundings of the Loire Estuary between Nantes and Saint-Nazaire.

The inspiration for the 425-foot sculpture came from dragons in Chinese mythology. Thanks to the tides, the curved skeleton of the serpent appears to come and go depending on the position of the Moon relative to the Earth, giving the sculpture dynamics and a sense of movement.

  • The ocean snake is impressive.
  • You can get scared
[1/2] The ocean snake is impressive.Images source: © Adobe Stock

This sculpture also references the nearby Saint-Nazaire bridge, which spans the Loire and connects Saint-Brevin-les-Pins with Saint-Nazaire. The line of vertebrae is similar to the curve of the bridge, and its layout refers to the typical fishing architecture of the Atlantic coast.

Serpent d'Océan is a symbol

The message of this mysterious sculpture is timeless. It refers to a longing for an unspoiled natural environment that humanity has yet to destroy with its destructive activities. Human activities have caused the oceans to suffer, losing their flora, fauna, and the magic and mystery hidden within them.

Like other projects by Huang Yong Ping, this one also reveals the paradox in which man destroys what he creates, torn between the need to create and his destructive instincts. The sculpture has become a home for local flora and fauna.

Huang Yong Ping was born in China on February 18, 1954, in Xiamen, Fujian province, and died in his studio in Ivry-sur-Seine on October 19, having reached the age of 65. He lived in France for 30 years and became a French citizen in 1999. For his work and contribution to the development of culture, he was also made an honorary citizen of Saint-Brevin.

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