Sapporo, Japan, 07 February, 2020 – A creative snow sculpture in the shape of a sea turtle has won the Thailand Team first prize at the 47th Sapporo International Snow Sculpture competition held annually at Odori Park, Sapporo, Japan.
This marks the third straight year that Thailand has won the competition, and the ninth time overall since Thailand first began competing in 1991.
Mr. Seksan Sripraiphan, Director of the TAT Tokyo office, said “This year, Thailand decided on the “Responsible Tourism” concept to fit in with the competition theme of “Future in Our Hands”.
The sculpture was of two sea turtles, one with an anguished expression in the palm of a human hand. The thought provoking sculpture was intended to raise awareness of the threat to endangered species as a result of climate change, a serious environmental problem triggered by human activity.
It was also in line with the TAT’s focus on Responsible and Sustainable Tourism as the core communications theme of its 60th anniversary commemoration.
Sponsored by TAT, the Thailand carving team members were: Mr. Kusol Boonkobsomserm (Team Leader), Mr. Amnuai Saksrisuk and Mr. Kritsana Wongthet.
Other competing teams came from Australia, Finland, Lithuania, the USA (Hawaii and Portland), Poland, Singapore, Mongolia, Indonesia and Macau.
In 2019, the winning Thai sculpture was a ‘Pla Kat‘ figurine, (also known as ‘Siamese fighting fish’) ice sculpture to reflect the lives of the communities that live by waterways around Thailand.
The Sapporo Snow Festival was started in 1950, when high school students built a few snow statues in Odori Park. It has since developed into a large event featuring spectacular snow and ice sculptures. The International Snow Sculpture Contest was first held in 1974.
The main site is the Odori Site in Sapporo’s centrally located 1.5 kilometre-long Odori Park. The Festival’s famous large snow sculptures, some measuring more than 25 metres wide and 15 metres high, are exhibited there. They are lit up daily until 22:00 Hrs.
The Odori Site exhibits more than 100 smaller snow statues and hosts several concerts and events, many of which use the sculptures as their stage.