Chinese ice carvers create SpongeBob in Texas city

Updated: 2014-11-17 05:37

By XINHUA in Houston(China Daily)

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Towering ice sculptures made by ice carvers from China went on display in the south Texas city of Galveston on Saturday as part of the "Ice Land" attraction being staged at the city’s Moody Gardens.

The ice-themed event, claimed to be the only one of its kind along the Gulf Coast, is expected to draw tens of thousands of visitors during the Christmas holiday season.

The 2,600-square-meter park took 816 metric tons of ice and almost a year’s labor, said John Zendt, president and CEO of Moody Garden.

The sculptures depict an exquisitely detailed, underwater-themed adventure featuring the cartoon character SpongeBob SquarePants, his pals and his neighborhood.

"We are able to bring a team of 31 carvers from Harbin, in Heilongjiang province, China, here to help us carve." Zendt said. "But we had challenges here unlike Harbin, where they carve the iceblocks from the river. We had to make those ice blocks starting in February."

Zendt said they stored 6,000 ice blocks at food storage sites in Houston before transporting them to Galveston. And it took the Chinese team 45 days to finish the huge project.

Fan Yongqiang,one of the carvers, said that unlike traditional Chinese ice sculptures, which seldom add color to preserve the crystal like quality of the ice, the sculptures in Galveston used a variety of colors.

"We have used more than 100 colors here," Fan said. "Like this starfish you see, I used more than 10 colors. It is the first time in my ice-carving career that I have used so many colors of ice. It is not easy, but we made it."

Fan said he was happy to bring his craftsmanship to Americans, who might never have seen Chinese ice sculptures before.