International Sand Sculpture Festival 2008
China Poster

China & the Olympics

Summer 2008
Another edition of the famous sand sculpture show, produced by the City of Jesolo, Italy.
esigned and directed by Varano Sand Sculpture Co. LLC aka "the  Sultans Of Sand Worldwide.
The "Sultans Of Sand Worldwide" is a consortium of over three dozen award winning international master sand sculptors who are living and working all around the globe. They come together occasionally, working in cooperation with the American director, and owner of the company, Rich Varano, to create magnificent displays in the captivating medium of professional (world class) sand sculpture.
  All team members are accomplished artists in their own right, representing the very best of the best in the world of modern commercial (professional) sand sculpting. Each person also possesses other varied and sundry talents and skill sets ranging from teaching, architecture, medicine and earth sciences, to painting, music and other arts as well.

   The seventeen selected feature artists for this years edition of the Jesolo Sand Sculpture Festival represent nine different countries and collectively hold over six dozen international titles and awards.
 The artists are assisted on the project by eleven young people. These are students from the Academy of Art in Venice, volunteering as laboring assistants to the masters in exchange for learning rudimentary knowledge of the sand sculpture craft and school credit. Together the entire group will create seventeen individual sculptures of up to four meters tall and nine meters in length, each.
 The work site and the pre compacted carving blocks known as "pound-ups" were prepared over a two week period prior to the arrival of the sculpting team, by local contractors from Rodighero & Company of Jesolo, under the direction of three field superintendents from the Sultans of Sand Worldwide organization, and the indispensable local Italian "Cappo di Sabbia" Gianni Button, (Grazie raggazi tutti!) 
 From that point, and after the carving crew has flown in from points near and far (some of whom are fresh off of other sand sculpting gigs) all the sculptures are carved to completion in only ten days. From June 08, through June 20. After which time, some of the artists will remain in Jesolo to enjoy a couple of days of complimentary down time for some "R & R" but most of the artists disperse to the four cardinal points of the compass around the world to work on yet other sand sculpture projects.
 Some of the team will reunite here in Italy again in November for the seventh edition of the Jesolo Christmas sand show, "The Nativity"
 The completed summer exhibition here, is on public display at the Jesolo lido from June 20 through July 20.

 We wish to express thanks to the city of Jesolo et al, the sponsors, producers and coordinators, as well as the extended family at the hotel Corallo, -our "home away from home" here in the wonderful Adriatic coastal community of Jesolo, for all their respective generosity, kindness and considerations that contribute to making this wonderful event possible.

The Featured Artists and their Works
Half the show features work of the general theme "China" and half is "the Olympics"
On the diagram of the floorplan, they are listed numerically clockwise from the top left.

 #1 The Legend of Houyi by Alexey Dyakov, Russia
A Chinese legend: A long time ago, there were 10 suns in the sky. They shined together and burned trees, flowers, and even people dead. Houyi -or sometimes simply called Yi, a hero skilled in archery, shot 9 suns down with his arrows...

(Longer version) In Chinese mythology, the sun's true forms are the Sun-birds. It is believed that there were ten of them, all of whom are the offspring of Dijun, God of the Eastern Heaven. Each morning, one of these Sun-birds was to rise and give the world light. One day, the Sun-birds grew tired of the routine and decided that all of them were to rise at once. The heat on earth became intense. At a result, crops shriveled in the fields. Lakes and ponds dried up; humans and animals cowered in shelters or collapsed from exhaustion. Time passed and the suffering continued. Yao, the Emperor of China, decided to plead for divine intervention and ask Dijun for aid.

Dijun was well aware of his sons' misdeeds, and sent for Houyi, the God of Archery, to teach his sons a lesson. Dijun wanted Houyi to simply frighten them so that they would not dare to cause mischief again. Houyi, too, wanted to settle this crisis peacefully, but a single glance at the scorched land was enough to convince him that desperate measures were needed. Angered by the suffering of the people caused by the Sun-birds' misconduct, Houyi lifted up his bow and shot them down one by one. Upon killing the ninth, Emperor Yao hurried to halt him as killing the last one would leave the world in total darkness. Houyi agreed and was hailed as a hero for mankind. Yet, later, Houyi's actions caused him to make enemies in Heaven and as a result he was punished with divine wrath.

 Lots of information about this popular Chinese myth can be found here:

#2 Foot Races by Raymond Wirick, England
Foot Races: Since the days of the Greeks, races on foot have been one of the most basic competitions between peaceful persons, and in the early days, foot races were the most respected competitions of all. Wars were suspended so that participants in the games could travel safely to join in the competitions.
 Look online for more information about the history of the olympics here:

#3  The Abbagnale Brothers by John Gowdy, Italy
The famous Italian brothers, Carmine and Giuseppe  as well as the younger Agostino, are universally known for their skill and ability in Rowing.
Agostino won his first gold medal at the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul. He stroked the Italian Quadruple scull (4x). 
Agostino returned to the Olympic stage at the 1996 Summer Olympics teaming with Davide Tizzano to win the Gold in the Double Scull. (After the medal ceremony, Abbagnale, who is a poor swimmer, jumped into the rowing lake and landed on one of his partner Davide Tizzano, knocking the gold medal out of his hand. It took scuba divers two days to recover the missing medal.)
At the 2000 Summer Olympics, he repeated his gold medal performance winning the Quadruple Scull.
Carmine and Giuseppe Abbagnale, received a gold medal in coxed pairs, at the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles, and again at the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul. The team received silver medals at the the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona.

 Learn about their accomplishments at:

#4 The Great Wall of China by Damon Farmer, USA
 Begun in the 5th century BC and stretching more than 6,400 kilometers, it is one of the marvels of the physical achievements of humanity, this structure is unique not only for it's ambitious and colossal undertaking, but that it has lasted for so long.
 Note that on the "outerside" of the wall, there were fortified battlements along the top edge of the wall. While on the "inside" edge, these fortifications were not needed, as that side was not the side that would be subjected to attack from enemies.
    Much of the initial structure of the Great wall was done using a process that is very similar to how the sculptures in sand you see here were prepared. By compacting earthen material into forms, and progressing from the ground level, upwards. More about the great wall, here:

#5 A Chinese Montage by Kevin Crawford, Australia
  This sculpture contains many icon images from the Chinese culture. See the majestic geography of mountains and water falls, with traditional architecture built into the landscapes. Shaped trees, and the popular stork image a symbol of vigilance and fertility, as well as the carved head from the Chinese Museum. The Foo Dog is a chinese symbol of majesty dating from the Han Dynasty 206 BC- 220 AD.
 Learn much about this great country online:

#6 The Chinese Dragon by Mark Anderson, United Kingdom
 The Chinese dragon is visualized as a long, scaled, snake-like creature with five claws. In contrast to the European dragon which stands on four legs and which is usually portrayed as evil, the Chinese dragon has long been a potent symbol of auspicious power in Chinese folklore and art. The Chinese dragon is traditionally also the embodiment of the concept of yang (male) and associated with the weather as the bringer of rain and water in an agriculturally water-driven nation. Its female counterpart is the Fenghuang. The Chinese dragon is the derivation of other Oriental dragons.

 Here the woman with the flute is an obscure reference to the sea maiden. Similar to the creature
in other cultures and legends which is known here in Italy as "la Serina."

#7 The Road of Olympic Torch by Vladimir Kuraev, Russia
 In many cultures worldwide from Greece to China, the symbolism of fish is not only one of health and well-being, but also, as in China, it is a symbol of inner strength, and overcoming obstacles and difficulties. Here, the young man on the lead fish with the Olympic fire has traveled the long and difficult road accross the globe,  and at last comes to China. The girl in the Chinese chariot with a palm branch personifies victory.

#8 General Guan by Katsuhiku Chaen, Japan
This is the legendary warrior of the Han Dynasty, still being worshiped by Chinese people today, especially in Hong Kong. He is commonly seen as the epitome of loyalty and righteousness. More at this web site:

#9 The Chinese Opera by Helena Bangert, Holland

 The Chinese opera is still a popular form of drama and musical theater in China. There are numerous regional branches of opera with its original root starting in the dynastic periods, especially from the period of the Three Kingdoms.

 #10 An Olympic Montage by Lars Borst, Holland
 This sculpture contains nine sports  included in the summer games. Cycleing, running, hurdles,
long jump, weightlifting, wrestleing, discus, show (horse) jumping, and sailing. See a list of all the summer games here:

#11 Rhythmic Gymnastics by Marjon Katerberg, Holland
A sport in which artistic interpretation and often teamwork too, plays an integral role. Much as in the world of international sand sculpting competitions.

# 12
Show Jumping by Ilya Shannin, Russia
Show jumping, also known as "stadium jumping" or "jumpers," is a member of a family of English riding equestrian events that also includes dressage, eventing, hunters and equitation. Jumping classes are commonly seen at horse shows throughout the world, including the Olympics.

Music of the Great Tang Dynasty by JOOHeng Tan, Singapore
The music of China dates back to the dawn of Chinese civilization with documents and artifacts providing evidence of a well developed musical culture as early as the Zhou Dynasty (1122 BC - 256 BC). Today, the music continues a rich traditional heritage in one aspect, while emerging into a more contemporary form at the same time.

#14 Chinese Panda Bears by Brad Goll, USA
While the dragon has historically served as China's national emblem, in recent decades the Giant Panda has also served as an emblem for the country. Its image appears on a large number of modern Chinese commemorative silver, gold, and platinum coins. The species is a favorite of the public, at least in part because many people find that it has a baby like cuteness. Also, it is usually depicted reclining peacefully eating bamboo, as opposed to hunting, which adds to its image of innocence. Though giant pandas are often assumed docile, they have been known to attack humans, presumably out of irritation rather than predatory behavior.

#15 TaeKwonDo by Karen Fralich, Canada
 An official Olympic sport, Taekwondo is also the national sport of South Korea. It is also regarded as the world's most popular martial art in terms of number of practitioners. In Korean, tae means "to trample with the foot"; kwon means "fist"; and do means "way"; so taekwondo is loosely translated as "the way of the foot and fist".

 #16 Aquatics by Suzanne Ruseler, Holland
Aquatics is a collective term for four Olympic water events: Swimming, Water Polo, Diving, and Synchronized Swimming. Swimming is one of the oldest events of the modern Olympics. It has been part of the modern Olympics since the very first modern Olympic events in 1896. Water Polo was added in 1900 during the Olympics in Paris, and Olympic diving began in 1904. It wasn't until 1984 that Synchronized Swimming was added to the official Olympics program. Synchronized Diving and women's Water Polo are the most recent additions, with competitions first appearing during the 2000 games in Sydney, Australia.

#17 High Jump by Baldrick Buckle, Holland
High jump is an athletics (track and field) event in which competitors must jump over a horizontal bar placed at measured heights without the aid of any devices. It has been contested since the Olympic Games of ancient Greece. Over the centuries since, competitors have introduced increasingly more effective techniques to arrive at the current form. Javier Sotomayor (Cuba) is both the indoor and outdoor world record holder in this event with jumps of 2.43 m (8 feet) and 2.45 m (8 feet ½ inch), respectively. Sotomayor's record, set in 1993, is the longest standing in the history of the men's high jump. Stefka Kostadinova (Bulgaria) has held the women's world record since 1987, the longest standing record in the sport.



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Worldwide Sand Sculpture Services

© Copyright 2008 Varano Sand Sculpture Company LLC / The Sultans Of Sand Worldwide Sand Sculpture Services
 All content on this web site is proprietary and  protected by international copyright law. As such it  may not be used, copied and/or distributed or disseminated by any method or means whatsoever, including digital media storage and retrieval devices without expressed written authorization from this company.
High resolution images available for purchase upon request.  [ contact us ]


  Sultans Of Sand Worldwide - CARVER NOTES for Italy, summer 2008:
   The Sultans Of Sand summer show in Italy 2008 is the 11th edition of the Jesolo International Sand Sculpture Festival.
   The theme is two fold... China AND the Olympics.
   The exact format for doing these themes is still being worked out.

The show schedule is as follows:
(We erect the show tent on May 23, and take it down July 24)
Friday, May 23: Tent erection completed
Sunday, May 25: SoS Field engineers arrive in Jesolo (Rich, Mark, John & Brad)
Monday, May 26: Field engineering/Poundup -First day
Friday, June 06: Field engineering/Poundup -Last day.
Saturday, June 07: ALL CARVERS MUST BE IN JESOLO & ready to work 8:00 the next morning
Sunday, June 08: Sculpting first day.Work days begin at 8:00 AM
Tuesday, June 17: Sculpting last day Work days end at 6:00 PM
Wednesday, June 18: Decorating (carvers free day, or depart Jesolo)
Thursday, June 19: Decorating (carvers free day, or depart Jesolo)
Friday, June 20: Carvers depart Jesolo. Any remaining carvers staying in Jesolo on June 20 or later2are staying at their own expense, and need to make arrangements in advance.
Saturday, June 21: Grand Opening.
Sunday, July 20: Show closes
Thursday, July 24. Tent is removed and the beach is restored.

  Carvers are offered 2 comp days in Jesolo after sculpting ends on June 17.
  That is, June 18 & 19 are free days if you want for the artists if they want them.

I am hiring 18 international master sand sculptors to be on my crew for this project. If artists are crossing over from this event to other events in Europe or abroad, or if they have articulated tickets otherwise, my producer will be sharing travel costs with those other event organizers, or paying the respective artists their travel expenses based on a prorated format.

Sultans Of Sand Crew for Italy Summer 2008:

(Involvement required from May 25 through at least June 17):
John Gowdy
Mark Anderson
Brad Goll
DIRECTOR: Rich Varano

(All carvers are required to be in Jesolo from June 07 through at least June 17 the two comp days after carving ends, are optional for all crew members.)
Pavel Zadanuk.
Alexey Dyakov
Vladimir Kuraev
Lars Borst
Karen Fralich
Damon Farmer
Baldrick Buckle
Ilya Shanin
Katsuhiku Chaen
Marjon Katerberg
Sussane Russler
JOOHeng Tan
Kevin Crawford
Helena Bangert


Varano Sand Sculpture Company LLC

Sultans OSand
sultans logo
Worldwide Sand Sculpture Services

© Copyright 2009Varano Sand Sculpture Company LLC / The Sultans Of Sand Worldwide Sand Sculpture Services
 All content on this web site is proprietary and  protected by international copyright law. As such it  may not be used, copied and/or distributed or disseminated by any method or means whatsoever, including digital media storage and retrieval devices without expressed written authorization from this company.
High resolution images available for purchase upon request.  [ contact us ]