Shifting Sands 2010 at Palawan Beach, Sentosa

March 30th, 2010 8 Commented

I enjoy admiring beautiful sculptures which include sand sculptures as well. Thus, my passion brought me to the Shifting Sands exhibition last Saturday. This mini exhibition will be on from 13th to 31st March 2010. I wish I could have gone to this exhibition earlier but it’s better late than never!

This exhibition, in partnership with Sandworkz, is held at Palawan Beach, Sentosa. It is an exhibition of award-winning life-sized sand sculptures by the international acclaimed artist, JOOheng Tan. Shifting Sands is indeed a breath-taking display of sandy art. There aren’t many sculptures in this exhibition but each of them are beautifully sculpted.

About JOOheng Tan

Internationally acclaimed Singapore-born sand sculptor, JOOheng craved a name for himself around the world with his technically demanding original creation and outstanding designs.

Through sheer hard work and determination to succeed on an unconventional path that no Singaporean has ever threaded, he has come thus far to share the world stage with some of the world’s top sculptors. Regarded as one of the world’s top ten leading sand sculptors, his works have often been described as “powerful” with “dynamic movement and strong themes”.

Recognized for his ability to consistently come up with new and innovative creations, JOOheng has won numerous accolades for his creations in different parts of the world. These included prestigious competitions such as the German World Championship, European Championship, North American Championship, among some of the awards that he has won during the course of his career.

JOOheng’s humble beginnings in sand sculpting started off as a hobby. This was set to change at Sentosa’s Sandsation 1999 where he was talent-spotted by the founder and former President of the World Sand Sculptors Association, Mr. Gerry Kirk who found something unique about JOOheng’s works that captivated him. He extended the first overseas invitation to him immediately and more invitations to sand sculpting events overseas followed soon after. This was the turning point in JOOheng’s life.

In year 2000, he won his first international competition in the Single Master Competition in Scheveningen, Netherlands and he has not looked back since. This incidentally also marked his foray into sand sculpting at the world stage.

Sand sculpting has taken JOOheng to numerous countries around the world and during his travels, he brings along with him his culture and perspectives that he hopes to communicate with the public through his sculptures. A highly sought after sand sculptor, he will continue to shift sand around the world.

In this post, I have included several larger sized images as well, for you to enjoy the sculptures in greater detail. There are only four big sculptures exhibited here. Each of them is based on a theme.

Surfin Into A Dream
International Sand Sculpture of the Sand Competition 2003
Valladolid, Spain
June 2003

There was a time when I was not sure where my future lies. It is just like a surfer in the middle of the sea. There is no destination in sight. The turbulent waves are like the difficulties and struggles that I faced.

A surfer’s dream is to catch a wave and that is just like me as I search for my dreams. I used this piece of work to bring out what I was going through at one point in my life when there was a lot of uncertainty.

[Click on the image for the larger version]

Roar of the Lion
International Sand Sculpture Festival Scheveningen
Single Master Competition
Scheveningen, the Netherlands
May 2000

Roar of the Lion tells the story of the birth of Singapore. The Merlion — a lion with a fish body — has become an icon of Singapore. The lion represents Singapore’s original name in Malay — Singapura — which means “lion city”, while the fish body represents Singapore’s origins as a fishing village.

The sculpture tells of the Merlion’s dramatic birth from an egg. It comes into existence roaring and spewing water. The birth of Singapore was a challenging one. Singapore was once part of Malaysia in 1963 but gained independence in 1965. The crack lines symbolize Singapore’s departure from Malaysia as the Merlion rises.

[Click on the image for the larger version]

Dream Knot
Korea International Sand Sculpture Festival
Donghae, South Korea
May 2009

This sculpture is about two people having the same thought, dream and hope bounded together beautifully by a knot. The beauty of the dream lies in the very fact that they are having the same thought. The lady represents the thought, dream and hope that is so beautiful.

[Click on the image for the larger version]

Shifting Sand
An anthology of sand sculptures
Sentosa Singapore
March 2010

Riding on his resilient camel, JOOheng travels to different parts of the world. His journey stretched over eleven years, and has brought him around the globe. And on these travels, he shifts sand along the way, creating sculptures parts of the world.

[Click on the image for the larger version]

[Click on the image for the larger version]

[Click on the image for the larger version]

[Click on the image for the larger version]

[Click on the image for the larger version]

There is also a corner for holding sand sculpting workshops every Saturday of the exhibition period. Unfortunately, the workshop ended when I reached there. The following photos show the creative works of hand from the workshop.

[Click on the image for the larger version]

Sandy Facts About Sand Sculpturing

Sand sculpture is a construction made only of sand and water. It could be a sand castle, but it could also be a composition of other architectural forms, anatomical figures (people or animals) and objects. Using the right sand and the right techniques, nearly any shape can be created in sand. Sand sculpture is an art form which was used by the Egyptians in 4000 BC.

Sand looks the same, but it is not. There is great variety in types of sand, with the origin playing a decisive role in what you can do with it. The origin of sand can be organic or mineral. Organic grains of sand are minuscule particles of corals, mollusks and fossils. These varieties can be found in salt water. Mineral sand or stone sand consists of small particles of minerals and other rocks and comes from mountainous regions, such as the Alps. These differences can be seen quite distinctly in a photographic enlargement.

In principle, a sand sculpture can be made from all sorts of sand. But the shape and height of the final sculpture is determined by the type of sand used. For a sculpture higher than one meter (3.3 feet), a special type of sand is necessary. The grain size and the structure of the grain are of fundamental importance here. It takes “dice”, not “marbles”.

To make beautiful, steep sand sculptures, you need a kind of sand that you can pile up. As already mentioned, the shape of the grain is important here. Try piling up some marbles and you will soon see what happens. If you pile blocks or dice, then there is no problem. The same applies to sculpture sand. The sand on most beaches, for example, is as round as marbles due to the tides and the movement of the waves. This makes it hard to build with. The ideal sculpture sand has an angular grain and is less eroded. The ideal sand for sculpting comes from the River Maas and is carried with the water from the Alps. These mineral sand grains still look like dice of various sizes, which can fit together.

[Click on the image for the larger version]

Sandy Facts About Sand Sculpturing

Are the sculptures made with nothing but sand and water?
Yes, only sand and water are used.

What happens when it rains?
If it rains, nothing serious happens to a sand sculpture. The rainwater is absorbed by the sand and evaporates again when it has stopped raining. Only during heavy rain, horizontal surfaces can take on a sort of “granola structure” due to the impact of the raindrops.

What happens when there is wind or a storm?
Wind posses no problem for a sand sculpture. Since the sand has been compressed so hard, the wind cannot get hold of it. A sand sculpture can easily withstand a Force 7 wind. To preserve the details of open air sculptures, an artificial protein solution (PVC white glue) is sprayed over the surface.

Do you have to keep spraying a sand sculpture once it is completed to keep it moist?
No, the sand only needs to be moist while you are working on the sculpture. This is why the builders use plant sprayer bottles. When the sculpture is ready, it can dry out completely. Because the sand is compacted, it does not fall apart.

Do sand sculptors mind when their sculpture is demolished?
No, provided that it is done with respect. Everyone involved in sand sculpting knows that a sand sculpture is temporary. Furthermore, the making of a sculpture and taking photos are the best memories. Building a new one is the next challenge.

[Click on the image for the larger version]

[Click on the image for the larger version]

If you are impressed by JOOheng’s work and creativity, you ought to visit his website to see his port-folio for more amazingly beautiful sand sculptures.

Official sandworkz website

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8 responses to “Shifting Sands 2010 at Palawan Beach, Sentosa”

  1. Nopy says:

    wow, some of those are really impressive. I like the one with the surfer, he looks cool.

  2. Fabrice says:

    Wow kiree,
    love the sculpture =)

  3. divinelight says:

    are they all preserved that way?
    it’s a waste if the wind blows ‘em down.

    • softz says:

      I guess some of them are preserved. But from the facts, the sculptors are well-prepared that their sculptures may be destroyed at times. For this Sentosa case, I think the dinosaur would be destroyed since it was a result of the workshop.

  4. moemoekyun says:

    awesome so impressive. O_O
    ah really want to see the real one :(

  5. mikiwank says:

    Awesome !!! In same idea, I like ice sculpture !

  6. Yi says:

    Wow, these sand sculptures are amazing. I love Shifting Sands especially, but all the sculptures are gorgeous.

  7. […] at it, but there are people all over the world that do. One of them is a native of Singapore, JOOheng Ten […]

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