Chinese Ice Carving Show Coming To Manukau This Summer
The coolest place to be next summer will be Manukau, where giant re-creations in ice of the Beehive, Auckland Harbour Bridge, Great Wall of China, the Sky Tower and the Eiffel Tower will be on display in minus zero conditions in a giant tent from mid January to the end of March.
These indoor ice artworks, and many other designs, will be part of the SPIG International Light and Ice Sculpture Festival.
The sculptures will be re-creations originally carved in the city of Harbin, northern China. Thirty five Chinese sculptors will work in a large refrigerated marquee in Hayman Park, Manukau City Centre, at a temperature of -10 degrees centigrade, using freshly-made ice generated by machine. The public will be given thermal jackets to wear inside the tent.
400 tonnes of ice will be needed and a gigantic freezer will ensure the temperatures remain low enough to prevent the ice melting. Foodstalls, art stalls and other outdoor activities such as dance performances will accompany the exhibition.
The aim of the festival is to promote the culture and art of China. Ice sculpting has a long history there and Harbin each year hosts an international festival that has become the largest-scale ice lantern art show in the world.
The organisers of the Manukau festival are the Harbin Ice Lantern Art Development Company and Sunmax Perfection International Cultural Exchange (SPIG). It has the support of Manukau City Council, which is providing some of the on-site requirements for the event.
Manukau mayor Sir Barry Curtis says it will be a marvellous spectacle and a tremendous summer holiday attraction. "There's not been anything like it before in the Auckland region before, or indeed New Zealand. I am sure it'll be a drawcard not just for our fast-growing Asian population, but for everyone. It reflects the growing appreciation of the richness of Asian cultures which are an increasing part of our multicultural city.
"I've been to Harbin to see the amazing sights of the ice festival and I'm delighted that the best of those creations will now be seen here."