Giant Lion Sculpture Carved from Single Tree Trunk Took 20 People and 3 Years to Complete

A majestic new attraction at the Fortune Plaza Times Square in Wuhan, the capital of China’s Hubei Province, is being hailed as one of the city’s swankiest landmarks.

The massive lion was carved out of a single giant tree trunk by renowned sculptor Dengding Rui Yao and a team of 20 sculptors in Myanmar, over a period of three years. Once complete, it was transported 5,000 kilometers, arriving in China in December 2015. At 14.5m long, 5m high, and 4m wide, the ‘Oriental Lion’ now holds the Guinness Record for the world’s largest wood sculpture.

Most of the Oriental Lion’s body retains the original texture of the wood – only its head, paws, and tail appear to have been chiselled smooth and polished. It isn’t clear if the wood used for the model originated in China. If it did, it is most likely from the Metasequoia, a fast-growing, deciduous tree native to Lichuan county in Hubei province.

Since ancient times, the lion has been auspicious in China as a symbol of power and grandeur. They are also believed to ward off evil spirits, which is why imposing statues of lions can be seen at the gates of imperial palaces, official residences, temples and tombs. So it’s no surprise that the people of Wuhan showed up in large number to welcome the arrival of this majestic artwork in their home city.

I just hope the tree they used for this ambitious project was already damaged or dying, because despite the undeniable beauty of Oriental Lion, no artwork would justify bringing down a magnificent tree that has to have been hundreds of years old.

Share this!
Share On Facebook
Share On Twitter
Share On Google Plus
Share On Pinterest
Share On Reddit

This article has 18 Comments

  1. This is such an incredible job , suppose the tree in question, in the pictures showen, has lived a long life , and had died or …..
    But it found a new life , this is a awardwinning peace of art.
    Well done

  2. This is awe inspiring. I am surprised they were so quick. This sculpture is beautiful, majestic, and powerful.

  3. The tree pictured is in front of a temple in Japan (the sign is written in Japanese).

    Somehow I doubt its the correct tree pictured. Plenty of other trees are obviously available in Myanmar, China, or anywhere in SE Asia, so why bother to haul a tree from Japan to Myanmar and then back to China?

  4. Actually, I just looked further. Its made of rosewood from Myanmar, not redwood or metasequoia, nor is it the tree pictured, that is a photo from Japan

  5. Were there two of these made? Because the one sitting on the gold mylar covered platform is different from the one sitting on the pallets.

  6. i am ah struck by both the beauty of such vision, undertaking and execution, I’ll give the artists the benifit of a doult and allow them to state where the red wood came from,
    It’s been tit for tat for hundreds of years, we steal china’s terracotta army figures, pay them with money printed on toilet paper and they are suspected of evil doing.
    Thanks Messy for bring this to us, U.S.A

  7. They are definitely two different works if photos are taken from same time periods of the carving process. Details in the heads are not even close to one another.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *