The story appears on

Page C6

October 13, 2009

GET this page in PDF

Free for subscribers

View shopping cart

Related News

Home » Metro

Expo venues sculpted in golden sands

FROM the beaches of the Zhoushan Archipelago in the East China Sea, people can view mountains draped in clouds and mist, listen to the voice of the sea and enjoy a bounty of seafood.
Now they can also get a glimpse of Shanghai World Expo from about 250 kilometers away.
It's all in the sand.
The annual Sand Sculpture Festival is underway on Zhujiajian, an island southeast of Zhoushan Island in Zhejiang Province. Until it closes on November 30, local people and visitors will be able to marvel at sand replicas of many of the Expo pavilions and exhibits that are on display at the Shanghai Expo Exhibition Hall on Huaihai Road M.
The Expo sand reproductions are part of a broader beach exhibition entitled "Future Ocean City." More than 40 sand sculptors from China and abroad spent about two weeks carving the sculptures. They also include buildings of the ancient fabled island of Atlantis and of modern-day Venice.
A sand gate encloses all the sculptures, giving visitors the impression of entering a city in a desert.
And, surprising to the touch, the sand has a cement-like hardness to it because sculptors spray a kind of glue to make them waterproof. In fact, there was a heavy rain the day before the beginning of the exhibition, but no sculptures were ruined.
The town of sand sculptures even includes a pond to bring seawater in around the various works, which are linked by wooden bridges.
Visitors first enter the "Legendary City," replicating parts of Atlantis, an island said by Plato to have sunk beneath the sea during an earthquake. On a 10-meter-long relief sculpture sit palaces and temples, with fish swimming in and out.
The urban scenery of Amsterdam and Venice are showcased in the next section. A windmill, tulips and wooden shoes are carved along with beaches and quaint Dutch houses.
Another work exhibits the scenery of the Venice Carnival, a traditional festival that began 1,700 years ago. Bulls fight and pigs run along a street filled with dancing people in masks and traditional costumes.
In the Expo Venues section, the splendid red China Pavilion is carved on a relief structure, which may be disappointing to visitors hoping to see it in three dimensions.
That's not the fault of sculptors, says Li Hailei, president of the Zhoushan International Sand Sculpture Co, organizer of the annual festival.
"It is impossible to duplicate the structure of the China Pavilion in sand because its top part is bigger than its foundation," he says. "All the sand sculptures must be in the shape of pyramids for stability."
There's no disappointment, however, when visitors come to a 2-meter-tall sand version of Expo mascot Haibao. It's a favorite spot for photo posing.
Iconic structures from previous Expos, including the Crystal Palace from the 1851 London Exposition and the Eiffel Tower from the 1889 Paris Expo, are also captured in sand. Many inventions that made their debuts on World Expos, including steam engines, revolver hand gun and cameras, are displayed in the exhibition.
Most of the sculptors for the exhibition are local people, like Zhang Weikang and Zhang Yongkang.
The Zhang brothers used to be carpenters in the island's Xiaosha Village.
When the beach festival began 10 years ago, they turned their carving talents to sand from wood. They have now become famous as the "sand sculpture brothers" and are among the chief designers of this year's exhibition.
"Sand sculptures changed our lives," says the senior brother, Zhang Weikang. "We would still be making wooden furniture in our small village had not sand sculpture captivated us. We have made it our life's work."
The sand sculpture festival attracts more than a million visitors to Zhujiajian Island every year, which has helped boost not only the local tourism industry but also the general economy of Zhoushan.
Zhujiajian is the fifth largest of the 10-island archipelago. The 72-square-kilometer island has 6,000 meters of coastline covered by golden sand. It also features a rare black pebble beach, which is located in a fishing-culture theme park.
In the park, replicas of ancient fishing boats - nicknamed "green eyebrows" because of their colorful paint schemes - remain a fascination for visitors.
Duration: through November 30
Admission: 50 yuan


Copyright © 1999- Shanghai Daily. All rights reserved.Preferably viewed with Internet Explorer 8 or newer browsers.

沪公网安备 31010602000204号

Email this to your friend