The first ever Myanmar sand sculpture festival will take place at Chindwin Thingyan festival to be held in Monywa Township, Sagaing Region.
The sand sculptures were created by Chinese sand sculptor Mr. John Han Tan from Singapore who came at the invitation of Sagaing Region government.
Mr Han Tan said, “I started creating sand sculpture in 1997. I held exhibitions in over 60 cities in over 20 countries. This is my first ever exhibition in Myanmar, and I am excited about the chance of joining Myanmar traditional Thingyan festival here.”
He is creating a 6x20 metre sand sculpture to be completed in time before the opening ceremony of the Thingyan festival exhibition.
He shared his expertise to students of sculpture from National Culture and Arts University (Mandalay), and they built sand sculptures together.
A student from National Culture and Arts University (Mandalay) of Sculpture Htwe San Aung said, “We mixed sand and clay in a bucket, and then water was poured into and left overnight. We took out the mixture next day and made a sculpture from this mixture block. We sprayed a glue liquid on the completed sculpture which will enable them to withstand wind and rain.”
Even before the festival is formally opened, many visitors from Monywa have been coming to see this big sand sculptures.
A resident from Monywa, Thet Khaing, said, “This is my first visit here. Many people talked about these wonderful sand sculptures. It’s amazing.”
Security is tight at Chindwin Thingyan festival as there are many visitors. Monywa District Police Force acting Chief Pol. Lt. Col. Than Win said that he deployed 50 police personnel for security at the fairground even during the construction period.
He added that there would be 30 police officers and 120 other ranks at the festival for security duty when the festival commences.
Mr. John Han Tan said this was the first ever sand sculpture festival in Myanmar.
He added that he was excited to see visitors coming to see his sand sculptures and he would complete all the sculptures before the opening date.
There are separate zones at this Thingyan festival with the wet zone for splashing water, beach zone for recreation, a play zone for children, dance zone for dancing, motorcycle stunts events, para-motor racing events, sand sculptures and traditional ethnic culture exhibition.
Sagaing Region government earmarked over 200 million kyats for the Thingyan festival, and the announcement made by region government says this fund is from unspent money from events and celebrations for the 2017-18 financial year.