2008 Fulong Sand Sculpture Festival
By Josie Wu Translated by Ann Lee
Do you remember the days as a child when you would go to the beach with your family and build sand castles all afternoon? Well, it turns out some people just never grow out of it. As this summer's "Fulong Sand Sculpture Festival" returns to Fulong Beach, beach goers have something besides splashing around in the waves and surfing to look forward to.
With its fine, white quartz sand, the three-kilometer golden beach stretches from Yanliao to Fulong on the island's northeast coast, and has is considered by the World Sand Sculpting Academy the most suitable area for sand sculpting in Taiwan. At this year's event, the sponsors have invited dozens of sand sculpting masters to demonstrate their artwork on the beach and teach others how to make their own creative sand sculptures. In the past, we've seen Sigurgeir Thordarson, from Iceland, create a Norse-inspired sea monster, while other contestants created masterpieces that were 12 or 14 meters wide and 6-7 meters high! One of them featured an underwater-world theme, and the other told the adventures of a sailor, a few of the biggest pieces ever created at the festival. What's more, there will be a "Golden Sand Art Area" which will display some sand art based on an "Ocean" theme, showing the lively underwater world.
Since 4000 B.C.E, the Egyptians were already using sand to help build the great pyramids. Since then, sand has often been used in construction and art. Sand sculpting is actually a form of architecture, mixed in with some painting, and sculpting, truly an international art form, and popular activity that attracts visitors from around the world. It is also environmentally friendly, as it creates no waste products and simply melts back down into the beach when the tide comes in. To be even more environmentally conscious, Chen Mei-gang of the Yilan Scenic Area Administration Bureau encourages everyone to take advantage of our public transportation system when coming to the festival. It's a five-minute walk from the Fulong Train Station to the beach. And when you finally get there, you can try your hand at making your own dream castle.
The festival runs from June 14 to 29. For more information on the 2008 Fulong Sand Sculpture Festival call (02) 2499-1210, or go to the official website for Northeast and Yilan Coast National Scenic Area Administration at: http://www.necoast-nsa.gov.tw