Apr 4th 2012 By: Lauren Davis
It cost Michael Bay $150 million to make his first Transformers film, and he didn't even get to keep the robots afterward. Chinese artist Zhu Kefeng makes his Transformers-inspired sculptures with a little scrap metal and a lot of passion, and he just wants to share his undisguised robots with the people of Zhejiang Province. That's why, after 10 years spent constructing more than 600 sculptures, Zhu has opened his very own robot theme park
in Jiaxing City, where visitors can dream of a better tomorrow -- one filled with contorting alien robots.
Zhu's Mr. Iron Robot Theme Park opened last month in an abandoned Jiaxing factory. Although not all of the sculptures in the 225-hectare facility are Transformers-themed -- some of them are based on cartoons or other robots -- the 10-foot tall Transformers statues are a bit part of the park's draw. And the 49-year-old Zhu understands that his passion for metal creations, combined with the joy of seeing a pop culture creature up close, can be an infectious combination:
I still remember the joy when I play iron toys in my childhood, I'd like to share the joy with children when I'm able to build a theme park. Joy shared with others are more enjoyed.
There's also an environmentalist message behind Zhu's enormous works of art. As China progresses further into the automobile era, earlier cars are abandoned in the wake of progress. Zhu gives those deserted cars a second life, albeit as stationary, rather than mechanical, beings. Zhu hopes that park visitors will recognize the benefit of reusing and recycling materials. However, you could forgive them if they're simply overwhelmed by the awesomeness of standing face-to-face (or, more accurately, face-to-pelvis) with the very robots they've seen in the movies.