- Title: CHINA: International ice sculpture competition takes place in Harbin
- Date: 10th January 2011
- Summary: (SOUNDBITE) (Mandarin) CHINESE SCULPTOR LI RUILEI SAYING: "I believe in my abilities, I shouldn't have any problems, I'll do the best I can to get the best score. Because each person's sculpting methods are different, but everyone's level is about the same, it's hard to say who will win. We are all guessing who will win." TEAM WORKING ON SCULPTURE CHAINSAW CUTTING IN FRONT OF SCULPTURE THAI TEAM SCULPTING DRAGON ICE BLOWING ONTO SCULPTOR'S FACE SCULPTORS WORKING ON SCULPTURE THAI TEAM PUTTING FINISHING TOUCHES ON SCULPTURE
- Embargoed: 25th January 2011 12:00
- Location: China, China
- Country: China
- Topics: Arts / Culture / Entertainment / Showbiz,Light / Amusing / Unusual / Quirky
- Reuters ID: LVA8F2WM2JCEFHT2DNEBXSBP24JO
- Story Text: Teams of sculptors from around the world put the final touches on their ice masterpieces in Harbin, China on Saturday (January 8), the final day of competition.
Thirty-four teams from 16 countries were given three days to saw, scrape, and smooth a piece of art out of a chunk of ice in the 25th annual international ice sculpture competition.
In addition to two Chinese teams, sculptors from countries with harsh winter climates such as Russia, Switzerland, and Finland were chiseling away at the ice.
There were also teams from tropical countries like Malaysia and Thailand, where there is no snow.
But organiser and judge Liu Deben said all teams faced equal criteria regardless of origin.
"The activity of ice sculpting, in addition to having specialised ability, you must also have a tenacious spirit, and courageous mindset. The three days of competition are all outside, and lately, Harbin's temperature has been around minus 17, minus 18 degrees Celsius (0, 1 degrees Fahrenheit). The temperature is really low. If you don't have this determined spirit, if you don't have the perseverance to stay in the freezing cold, then you can't complete your sculpture," he said.
Each team was given a block around two meters tall, two meters wide, and 50 centimetres thick, cut from the surface of the Harbin's frozen Songhua River.
Locals say the ice of the Songhua is particularly translucent, as it freezes slowly each winter with the river continuing to flow beneath and polish it.
Using scalpels, chainsaws, picks, drills and irons, teams were given the liberty to create anything they could imagine, some intricate and others abstract, but all representative of their countries and culture.
The Latvian sculpture team design depicted a traditional Western fairytale with a nod to Chinese cultural traditions.
"The inspiration is from the very classical story about Alice and Wonderland, but I found that this is the right moment to tell that again because very soon will be the, will start the New Year, and that will be the year of the white rabbit," said Latvian sculptor Kalis Ile.
The transparency of the ice allowed his sculpture to better depict Alice walking through her looking glass into her beautiful Wonderland, he added.
Judges roamed on the final day to decide on a winner. The pieces will be rated on creativity, artistic quality and craftmanship.
Chinese sculptor Li Ruilei, whose team was working on an intricate sculpture of a woman surrounded by chrysanthemums and lotus flowers, said he was confident of his creation, and was eager to hear the final results.
"I believe in my abilities, I shouldn't have any problems, I'll do the best I can to get the best score. Because every person's sculpting methods are different, but everyone's levels are about the same, it's hard to say who will win. We are all guessing who will win," he said.
Judges will announce the winner of the competition later on Saturday.
The winning sculpture team will win 10,000 RMB ($1,508 U.S. Dollars) while two second place teams will win 5, 000 RMB (754 U.S. Dollars) and three third place teams will earn 3,000 RMB (452 U.S. Dollars).
- Copyright Holder: REUTERS
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