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Jakarta Post

Indonesian snow sculpting teams conquer festival in Harbin despite temperature shock

  • News Desk

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Thu, January 16, 2020   /   08:20 pm
Indonesian snow sculpting teams conquer festival in Harbin despite temperature shock Members of the first team pose with their ice sculpture, themed “Bali Bride” at the 25th Harbin International Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival held in Harbin, China. ( of the first team)

Two Indonesian teams consisting of young Balinese sculptors have won two categories at the 25th Harbin International Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival held in Harbin, China, which took place from Jan. 10 to 13.

The first team, comprising team leader I Nyoman Sungada as well as members I Putu Andre Putra Yoga, Eka Budi Ariadee and I Made Sumerta Yasa, won the Best Skill category, designing their snow sculpture around the theme of “Bali Bride”.

The second team consisting of team leader I Ketut Suaryana and members I Made Mardiawan, I Komang Karim and I Kadek Arya Undiyana won the Excellent category, choosing to go with a "Frog Surfing” theme.

“The works are quite rich in ornamentation from an artistic perspective and are very beautiful to look at. As Balinese, we wanted to introduce one of Indonesia’s cultures to the eyes of the world,” team leader Nyoman said on Tuesday as quoted by

Each team was given approximately 3.5 days to sculpt their work from 12-square-meter snow blocks, and they managed to beat 28 other representatives from 10 countries. Their works are on display until the end of the festival on Feb. 25.

Ketut said his team did not experience any significant obstacles in the process of making the statue, but they were rather challenged by an extreme cold temperature reaching minus 15 degrees Celsius in Harbin, which made it difficult for them coming from a tropical country.

“For preparation, we matured ourselves mentally and physically. We trained by making small miniatures and since we must be in peak physical condition, we trained in the refrigerator for a whole day,” Nyoman said.

Ketut, leader of the second team, said they practiced hard for about a month, prepared a strategy for the carving and planned detailed tasks and duties for each team member for the sculpture workflow to go well.

“The frog surfing theme was based on the philosophy that we can live in two worlds. It can be linked to many differences in our country and with these differences we can still have fun,” Ketut said.

The four participants in the second team were representatives from the Bali Talent Artist community, whose members are studying to become kitchen artists.

The Harbin competition was not the first for Nyoman and Ketut, as they had both previously taken part in some international level sculpting competitions, both individually and in groups.

Nyoman has taken part in the Harbin festival several times and brought home some medals, including winning the third place of the World Champion in 2013, winning the Best Skill category in 2015, taking third place of the World Champion once again in 2017 and winning the Best Creativity category in 2018.

Meanwhile, Ketut won the Best People’s Choice award at an international sculpture competition in Nayoro, Japan, in 2018.

“Hopefully, our generation of young artists can take part in more world competitions. I want not only young Balinese artists but also representatives from other parts of Indonesia to represent in the race,” said Ketut.

Ketut admitted that he was inspired by such festivals and was eager to make an international sand sculpture contest which, according to him, would be able to attract many tourists as it could be done regardless of temperature.

Next month, Nyoman and Ketut will both take part in the International Snow Sculpture Japan Cup 2020 held in Nayoro and will compete as a team. (syk)