Florentijn Hofman's oversized octopus forms an immersive and active playscape in Shenzhen, China. Cheekily named the ‘Kraken’ this friendly giant is proving a hit with the littlest locals.
In a new seaside development in Shenzhen, China, a larger-than-life sized creature sits in the centre of a public park. ‘Kraken’ is the brainchild of Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman and takes the shape of an oversized — yet friendly-faced — octopus.
Hofman is renowned for his scaled-up animal sculptures, his infamous giant rubber duck is perhaps his best-known work, his other installations have been spotted in cities from London to Shanghai. For ‘Kraken’, the artist collaborated with the shanghai team of UAP studio on the build of this enormous and immersive playscape.
Titled Kraken, the artwork is a reference to the legendary giant sea monster of the same name, which has a reputation for attacking sailing vessels. Hofman’s Kraken is a cheeky wink to the battleship which once occupied the harbour, whilst providing an inclusive and imaginative space for children and families.
Commissioned by Vanke Group’s One City development, ‘Kraken’ forms an engaging and inhabitable space for children and adults alike. Hofman worked closely alongside the team at UAP throughout the design, development, and fabrication of the project, investigating the materials required to bring ‘Kraken’ to life.
Providing an imaginative space for families to explore, visitors enter the playscape through the character’s tentacles, where they climb through a netted abyss. Upon arrival to the top, a large playable space awaits within ‘Kraken’s’ rounded head.