For those of you who don’t live in Ottawa, for the past 4 days we have had magical (and huge) creatures roaming our downtown streets. The story behind this is as follows:
From the ninth level of heaven, Long Ma—a cosmic creature who is half-horse, half-dragon—keeps watch over humanity. But a sinister force that has taken the form of a giant spider slips into his home as he sleeps, burning his wings and robbing his sacred temple. From this time forth, the Dragon-Horse roams the seven seas in search of his missing temple.
The giant spider, Kumo, takes refuge in Ottawa, the mother-city of all spiders. Buried deep beneath the waves, the temple remains concealed. But the recent work undertaken by the city to build Ottawa’s new transit line has disturbed Kumo, and she is forced to emerge from the ground. Her power depleted, the spider becomes vulnerable and loses control of the temple, which reappears in the city. Alerted by this apparition, Long Ma sets out on the route taken by Champlain several centuries earlier, with the intention of recovering his temple of travel, a shrine that he alone has the power to properly restore.”
Part dragon and part horse, Long Ma stands 12 metres high, 5 metres wide and weighs 45 tons. With his piercing gaze, Long Ma scours the crowd and interacts with them as his neck rises, lowers and oscillates from left to right. His rib cage swells under the pressure of his lungs.
Beautiful and repulsive, aggressive and gentle, Kumo, the giant spider, will give you chills. Her eight legs and body that synchronize as she crawls around town gracefully. Like a dancer, she wanders, steps over trees, streetlights and bus shelters… At rest, she is 5.7 metres high and 6 metres wide, but she can reach up to 13 metres when in motion. Fully outstretched, she is about 20 metres long.
The story plays out with a spectacular finale and, of course, Long Ma wins back his wings.
While I sure don’t like the idea of Ottawa being the mother-city of all spiders – this was extremely well done. The company who made and managed these creatures is in France.
The pictures below were taken by a friend (and very talented photographer), Don Douglas.