Viet Nam News
Gia Lộc & Nguyễn Thanh
BÌNH THUẬN — The talent and skilled hands of foreign sculptors have turned a two-hectare empty lot into a wonderful sand sculpture park in Phan Thiết city’s Phú Hài Ward in the south central coastal province of Bình Thuận.
The park is expected to become one of the landmarks in Bình Thuận Province, one that tourists, especially children, should not miss when visiting the region best known for beautiful beaches and sand dunes.
Tourists will be brought back to their childhoods as they are told famous fairy tales at the Forgotten Land sand sculpture park, featuring 22 lively and interesting sculptures based on fairy tales of Việt Nam and the world.
Fourteen sculptors from Japan, Singapore, the US and other countries came to the province to use the local red sand and water to create sculptures with different shapes including a castle, huge dragon, rooster (which is zodiac symbol for this lunar year) and many known characters, such as Cinderella and Aurora from the story of Sleeping Beauty.
Moreover, sculptors of ancient architectural works, such as Thiên Mụ pagoda in the central city of Huế, Pô Nagar Chăm tower in the south central province of Khánh Hòa’s Nha Trang, are featured.
Each of 22 sculptures average 10 metres in length, five metres in width and 3.5 metres in height.
A sculpture of Cinderella at the Forgotten Land sand sculpture park in Phan Thiết City. —VNA/VNS.Photo.Nguyễn Thanh
Red sand for the sculptors is taken from the province’s large dunes which cover thousands of hectares, reach heights of forty to fifty metres and are created by frequent sand-storms blowing inland from the coast.
Strong winds will not blow sand from sculptures thanks to techniques of the sculptors.
Sculptor Marielle Heessels from Holland said that this was the first time she had come to Việt Nam.
The people and nature of Việt Nam inspired her for sculpturing, Heessels said, adding that she wanted to tell many fairy tales via sculptures.
She said she hoped that the sculptures would be liked by local and foreign tourists.
Sculptor Leonardo Ugolinin from Belgium said he came to Việt Nam for the second time to sculpt sand. He was very happy to perform the art in beautiful Phan Thiết city.
The sand in Phan Thiết is stickier than sand in other places and makes it easy to sculpt, he said.
Sculptures will last about one year under normal weather conditions.
Nguyễn Đức Hòa, vice chairman of the provincial People’s Committee, said that the park was expected to help the province attract more foreign and local tourists.
A minutely detailed sand sculpture in Phan Thiết City. —VNA/VNS.Photo.Nguyễn Thanh
"Sand sculpture is a popular art in the world, and colourful sand is an advantage of the province for sand sculpture,"Hòa said.
Like Australia and Japan, more and more festivals of sand sculpture would be held in the province, he added.
The Forgotten Land sand sculpture park has been posted on Facebook by many people including local residents in the province to invite their friends to go with them to the park.
Nguyễn Nhật Cường, from the province’s Bắc Bình District, brought his whole family to visit the park and said that the sculptures were “very impressive”.
Hoàng Như Huệ, also in Bình Thuận, said that the sculptures were very beautiful. “Through the talent of sculptors, they seem to have soul.”
“I like the huge dragon at the entrance,” Huệ said.
Lê Anh Tuấn, CEO of Vietsandart Company, said that since the park opened on January 29, around 1,000 tourists visited it every day. The entrance fee for adults is VNĐ100,000 and VNĐ70,000 for kids.
The company continues to make new statues. During the upcoming April 30 and May 1 holiday, a contest for sand sculptures by female sculptors will be organised.
The park plans to change the theme of its sculptures later this year.—VNS