They rode out along the fenceline and across the open pastureland. The leather creaked in the morning cold. They pushed the horses into a lope. The lights fell away behind them. They rode out on the high prairie where they slowed the horses to a walk and the stars swarmed around them out of the blackness. They heard somewhere in that tenantless night a bell that tolled and ceased where no bell was and they rode out on the round dais of the earth which alone was dark and no light to it and which carried their figures and bore them up into the swarming stars so that they rode not under but among them and they rode at once jaunty and circumspect, like thieves newly loosed in that dark electric, like young thieves in a glowing orchard, loosely jacketed against the cold and ten thousand worlds for the choosing.
Behold the awesomeness that is Long Ma the fire-breathing dragon-horse, the latest creation by French artist François Delarozière and his art production company La Machine. The 46-ton kinetic sculpture stands almost 40 feet tall and features articulated limbs that can gallop, rear up, and fold beneath him when he wants to sit down. His neck rises and falls and his wonderfully expressive face features eyes that open and close. Best of all, his chest swells from the pressure building in his lungs before he exhales fantastic plumes of smoke from his nostrils and jets of fire from his mouth.
This marvelous interactive sculpture was just debuted in the French city of Nantes and will soon be traveling to Beijing where he’ll be presented in October as part of the celebration of the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations between France and China. Long Ma is based on a creature from Chinese mythology, Longma, a fabled winged horse with dragon scales, and will be the hero of a performance entitled “Long Ma Jing Shen” or “The Spirit of the Horse Dragon” during which he’ll face off against a giant spider.
Click here and here for video footage of Long Ma in all his fiery glory.
"See that house with the Ivy on it? From that rooftop, what if you leapt onto the next rooftop, dashed over that blue & green wall, climbed and jumped up the pipe, ran across the roof and jumped to the next? You can, in animation.
If you could walk along the cable, you could see the other side. When you look from above, so many things reveal themselves to you. Maybe race along the concrete wall. Suddenly, there in your humdrum town there is a magical movie. Isn’t it fun to see things that way? Feels like you could go somewhere far beyond…
…maybe you can…”
- Hayao Miyazaki (From ‘The Kingdom of Dreams & Maddness’ Studio Ghibli documentary)