Monumenta 2016 – Huang Yong Ping, at the Grand Palais, Paris

Empires, an installation by Huang Yong Ping, occupies the nave of the Grand Palais for the seventh “Monumenta” event in 2016. 305 containers of the type used to transport freight are superimposed in several rows under the glass ceiling. The highest row is 17.5 m high. These containers of different colours bear the logos of different groups. A 28.7 m high and 17 m wide portable bridge, weighing 67 tonnes, was installed. The skeleton of a snake winds its way across the containers and supporting columns. It is 254 m long, with 316 aluminium vertebrae and 560 ribs. It weighs 133 tonnes and its skull is 5.5 m high. The installation also features a bicorne hat 12 m long and 5.5 m high. It is directly inspired by the one worn by Napoleon at the Battle of Eylau in which over 30,000 soldiers from the French and Russian armies were killed or injured. The stability study for this monumental installation was performed in collaboration with the design firm ICE and in particular Mr. Emmanuel Granier. Technical inspections were carried out by Mr. Fabrice Cousin from Bureau Veritas.


Art work


France, Paris, Grand Palais (FR-75)


Feasibility study, Preliminary study, Structural design stages, Working and Shop drawings


PING, Sylvie Jodar Maitre d’Œuvre d’Exécution


Régie des Musées Nationaux

Associate Engineering Offices

Ice, Emmanuel Granier

Photo credits

Grand Palais – RMN, C&E

Completion date