A majestic beast rises from the depths of the earth, climbing to freedom on the crowded streets of Shenzhen.
Unleashed on an unsuspecting city, Beyond Reflection (BR) is the creative genius of public-space artist Lawrence Argent (deceased) come to life amid the urban buzz of downtown Shenzhen in China.
Rising 16 metres from the ground, the imposing stainless steel sculpture dominates the public space of the sunken plaza fronting Uniwalk; a mixed-use development that hosts the city’s largest shopping mall (approximately 35 million square metres containing over 100 eateries and an endless array of shops).
Responsible for the landmark project, public-realm creationist UAP worked in collaboration with Argent to manifest the silvery dragon, developing the design and completing the fabrication and installation of this mammoth sculpture.
The creature’s body is made from panel-beaten, mirror-polished stainless steel. The faceted head, claws and tail are made from welded, mirror-polished stainless steel. A complex fabrication project, the material required multiple treatments to achieve the resplendent reflective surface that makes BR appear to employ camouflage in order to blend into his environment.
“The dragon emerges formless, much like an apparition. Then, just at this moment in time, the fluidity of form merges into something recognisable.It is a moment,” said Argent of his creation.
A highly symbolic creature in Chinese mythology, dragons are a symbol of power, strength, and good luck (for people who are worthy of it), with supposed control over water-related events. Unlike in western traditions, in the east, dragons are seen as a good omen.
Emerging from below the ground, BR draws spectators in for a closer look. With only his head, back and tail rising above the surface, his claws clutching the balustrade, BR appears to slink and slither across the forecourt in a manner that is both marauding and mesmerising.
Animated with coloured lighting and mist effects at night, Argent’s work makes a captivating impression upon the heavily trafficked public space. In the realm of public art, there’s not much quite so memorable for making an impact on a city than a 16-metre-tall shiny dragon. #godzillaeatyourheartout #whosaprettyboy
Client China Horoy Holdings
Location Shenzhen, China
Artist Lawrence Argent
Fabrication & Install UAP