Just to be clear: it’s not a real Octopus. It’s a big, ropey, fake one that looks very adorable and lives in Shenzhen, China.
The gigantic red octopus, named the Kraken, is actually a huge play equipment. It consists of eight large tentacles that open up at the bottom to rope ladders inside, leading up to swinging ropes and climbing equipment in the body of the octopus.
Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman designed the Kraken for children and adults to play about in. Hofman is the same guy who brought the giant rubber duck installations to major waterways around the world, including here in Australia. Unfortunately, unlike the rubber duck, the octopus is site specific and is set to stay in Shenzhen permanently.
The octopus was constructed in association with UAP Studio, and is made entirely of rope and metal fibres.
The artistic play equipment drew its inspiration from the area that it lives in. Shenzhen was until recently a former Soviet aircraft carrier-turned theme park and once a dock for large ships. The design and name is no doubt a wink to the city’s naval past.
You can check out the installation now. Don’t worry, it won’t bite.
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