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If you were born in the 80s and turned on the television to watch gigantic machines on a mission to save humans from the baddies, then you’re in for a thrill. China’s Zhejiang Province recently inaugurated a Transformers’ themed park to cater to the millions of fans of these much-loved robots. Named Mr. Iron Robot, the park’s giant saviors were built by 49-year-old artist Zhu Kefeng who worked with a team of dedicated and like-minded individuals. What’s more, the robots have been built out of recycled materials, making the project even more admirable.
The road to success has been a long one for Kefeng and his team. They slogged away for 10 whole years constructing giant metal robots out of steel and recycled iron parts. Kefeng’s story is the stuff dreams are made of. He realized his talent after building a model of a car in his younger days, progressing to opening up a studio and creating more intricate sculptures. He began making a name for himself and started taking commissioned orders from clients who admired his work.
Kefeng seemed determined to use only recycled metal parts for his works as he even set up a bin where folks could donate discarded materials. In 2010, he began work on the sculptures for the Mr. Iron Robot park after raising money by selling his apartment and his sculptures. Together with his team, he purchased an abandoned factory and renovated it into a modern attraction. The result is a place where fans of the Transformers franchise can witness over 600 Transformers-inspired sculptures.
The park sits on a 225-hectare piece of land. Aside from the sculptures, it features a gallery that displays the progress of human civilization from the time of the Stone Age all the way to the 21st century. His efforts haven’t been in vain either as the park was awarded a national AA grade for being the first to be based on recycled steel and iron artworks.
Recycling is making a boom in the modern world with designers and ordinary individuals taking part in the creative process. There’s money in it too, as many will testify, owing to the amount of work and creativity that goes into designing art or functional items out of discarded products. The rewards are excellent, though, as recycling gives new life to items that have supposedly outlived their usefulness.
Individuals like Kefeng take the concept to a larger scale. In fact, he and his team need to go through so much metal that he’s even founded his own recycling plant in order to get sufficient material for his work. Needless to say, they’ve been responsible for cleaning up a good chunk of metal waste.
Progressive nations like China witness a lot of development that results in plenty of waste being generated. While development can’t be halted, efforts like that of Kefeng’s serve to clean up the surroundings from the effects of progress. Now, the sculptor’s dream is to build more theme parks around the country using recycled metals as the base.