Singapore artist Tan Joo Heng (陳裕興) won this year’s annual Fulong Sand Sculpture Art Festival international sand sculpture contest yesterday on the opening day of the festival. Tan finished first with a sculpture of Chinese historical figure general Guan Yu (關羽), followed by Canadian artist Karen Fralich’s artwork titled Elephant in Dreams and Bouke Atema of the Netherlands with her creation Eagle Catching Fish.
A total of 44 works by 35 artists from countries including the US, Japan, Canada, the Netherlands, Singapore, Taiwan, Latvia and China competed at the annual festival organized by the Northeast and Yilan Coast National Scenic Area Administration this year.
Tan, who has been working with sand for 13 years, said this year’s competition was a test of perseverance because it rained heavily for days before the festival, which made creating art very difficult.
“Almost every part of the work had to be re-sculpted three times,” Tan said, adding that all the participants were winners because they had to cope with the weather.
Asked why he chose Guan Yu,, the 38-year-old said he had always been interested in Chinese culture.
Last year, the festival attracted 350,000 visitors and it is hoped the number this year will exceed 400,000, Minister of Transport and Communications Mao Chi-kuo (毛治國) said while attending the festival’s opening ceremony.
The festival runs until June 24.