Building sandcastles is an activity usually associated with kids, but these days it has evolved into an artform.
“Sentosa Sandsation 2017“, a three-week long sand sculpture festival (from 1-17 September), is Southeast Asia’s largest sand festival and features more than 30 larger-than-life sand sculptures.
The exhibition area is spread across 2,400 square metres on Siloso Beach and visitors can walk through three zones with different themes, which include a competition zone, as well as sculptures depicting Singapore’s unique blend of culture, humour, quirks and colloquialism. Admission is free and the event is open from 10am – 9pm daily.
Leading the team of sand sculptors for Sentosa Sandsation 2017 is JOOheng Tan, an internationally-acclaimed Singapore sand artist, whose works have been showcased in over 70 cities across more than 20 countries.
An interesting fact is that the sand sculptures are made with just sand and water! 1.2 million kg of sand has been used and 300 tonnes of seawater needed to compact the sand. In case you’re wondering, the sand will be recycled after the event.
Apparently neither rain nor wind will affect the sand sculptures as the rainwater will be absorbed (and evaporate), while the compressed sand will not be affected by the wind.
Zone 1: Our Sandsational Singapore (Singapore, Ho Say!)
This features 15 three-dimensional sculptures inspired by local culture and I found that most of the sand sculptures in this zone are tongue-in-cheek representations of familiar Singlish phrases. The sand piles here are about 16ft (4.87m) high!
Download the MixGo mobile app for an enhanced experience and watch the sculptures come to life with various Augmented Reality effects (the app also includes behind-the-scenes video features, simulated photo frames and filters, as well as gamification features).
So Jialat! (Using lots of strength)
Use the MixGo app to scan the picture…
A photo frame will appear and you can use it to take your pictures.
Blur like Sotong, Gabra like Zebra (to describe a person as being totally clueless, and messes things up)
Using the MixGo app, an octopus appears on the screen!
Singapore National Theatre
Lia’h Boh Kiew (to express one’s inability to understand)
Jiak Zua (to jiak zua or eat snake literally means to skive or shirk responsibilities)
So Wayang (an act of pretence)
Steady Pom Pipi (to describe one’s ability to remain cool under pressure)
Kan Cheong Spider (refers to a person with a nervous disposition, one who is easily flustered)
Cut Queue (to jump queue)
Talk cock sing song, play ping pong (to engage in nonsensical conversation or to make no sense)
Chope! (to reserve a seat)
So Kiasu (afraid to lose out)
Tok Kong (superb, top of line)
Using the MixGo app here will launch a game:
Zone 2: Sentosa International Sand Sculpting Championship
Based on the theme “Imagination”, 14 renowned sand artists from 13 nations around the globe are participating in this championship and the sculptors spent a total of 28 hours over three and a half days to create these creative works of art.
On 31 August, Portugal’s Pedro Mira was crowned the winner of the Sentosa International Sand Sculpting Championship, clinching the Golden Shovel Award and a cash prize of USD 5,000. Togo’s Bob Atisso and Poland’s Borecki Wiaczeslaw were presented with the Silver Shovel Award (and USD 2,500) and the Bronze Shovel Award (and USD 1,500) respectively.
The winning sand sculptures were judged based on various criteria including concept, design, originality, three-dimensionality of the works, as well as carving technique.
[Belgium] …if cats got bigger? by David Enguerrand
[Canada] Tropical Splendor by Michel Lepire
[Czech Republic] Lion City by Jakub Zimacek
[France] The world through children’s eyes by Benoit Dutherage
[India] Save our Oceans by Sudarsan Pattnaik
[Italy] Smog City by Leonardo Ugolini
[Mexico] Way (or Uay) by Calixto Molina
[The Netherlands] Entangled by Marielle Heessels
[Poland] Evolution by Borecki Wiaczeslaw (Bronze Shovel Award)
[Portugal] Broken Heart by Pedro Mira (Gold Shovel Award)
View from the other side of the sand sculpture:
[Russia] Dreams by Aleksei Shchitov
[Spain] Everything can be possible, so why not? by Cuesta Marin Montserrat
[Spain] Game Over by Sergio Ramirez
[Togo] The Drive of Illusion by Bob Atisso (Silver Shovel Award)
Zone 3: Shifting Sand 2
In this last zone, JOOheng commemorates his 20th year of transforming ordinary sand into incredible artworks through a series of interactive sand art pieces.
Visitors can “step into” the art pieces and become part of the artwork.
A different theme is planned for each weekend and those who visit between Mondays and Thursdays will be able to witness the artist at work.
Week 2 (work in progress):
On the final weekend (15-17 September), JOOheng will be sculpting a vision of Singapore in the year 2040, based on a winning sketch submitted by a local child aged 5-12 years old who will imagine how it will be like to live and play in future Singapore, and what makes us a happy and cohesive nation.
Sentosa Islander members will get the exclusive opportunity to snap a photo with the interactive sand artwork from Fridays to Sundays*, from 12pm to 9pm. Simply flash your Islander membership card to enter the photo area and have your photo taken with JOOheng’s interactive sand art! You will need to provide your email address or mobile phone number, so that the photograph can be sent to you.
*Only valid on the following dates: 1-3, 8-10, 15-17 September 2017, from 12pm – 9pm.
People’s Choice Awards
Visitors to this sand festival can take part in the People’s Choice Awards and pick their favourite sand sculpture by taking a photo with their favourite sand artwork, posting it on Instagram with the hash tags #SentosaSandsation and #SandsationalContest, plus stating the reason(s) for their choice. One winner will be drawn from the entries featuring the most popular sculpture, and this person will get to enjoy a 2D1N Sentosa staycation package. The results of the People’s Choice Awards will be announced after 20 September.
Date: 1 – 17 September 2017
Time: 10am – 9pm daily
Venue: Siloso Beach, Sentosa
(Note: Island admission and parking charges apply)
Getting There: Guests can enter the island for free via the Sentosa Boardwalk, or take SBS Transit’s Service 123 to get to Sentosa’s Beach Station.
As part of the resort island’s 45th anniversary celebrations, from 4-10 September 2017, Singapore residents will also enjoy free entry to Sentosa with a waiver of charges for the Sentosa Express monorail and gantry fees for cars, as well as free rides on Sentosa’s on-island cable car line which brings guests directly to the Siloso Point Station where the event is. The free cable car ride starts from the Merlion Station at Imbiah (opposite the Sentosa Express Imbiah Station).
Those who are making their way from Beach Station can hop onto the Beach Tram and get off at Mega Adventure, where you can find the entrance to the sand festival.