A giant wooden redwood sculpture of a roaring lion stands magnificently in a Central Chinese city square, and the journey it took to get here is even more remarkable.
For over 3 years with 20 people, a single tree trunk has been carved into a giant lion dubbed The Oriental Lion. The sculptor is a Chinese architect by the name of Dengding Rui Yao who led the team in carving out the enormous redwood trunk. The project began in Myanmar and the great beast traveled over 3000 miles to reach where it’s now located in Fortune Plaza Times Square in Wuhan, the capital of China’s Hubei Province. At 47.5 feet long, 16.5 feet high, and 13 feet wide, the Oriental Lion is a force to be reckoned with.
Lions serve a vital role in traditional Chinese culture. When Buddhism spread throughout India to China, many symbols including the lion were also passed along. Viewed as protectors, lion statues have became common fixtures at the gates of imperial palaces, including the famous Forbidden City in Beijing. Today, they are found outside of hotels and restaurants, just in case any evil spirits still remain from the Han dynasty into modern times.