A team of Thai ice sculpture artists earned the runner-up position in a contest held in Sapporo, showcasing their artwork inspired by the mystical Naga fireballs along the Mekong River.
Organisers of the International Snow Sculpture on Wednesday announced that the Thai team secured the second spot in the competition, marking the event's return since the conclusion of the Covid-19 outbreak.
The Thai team's creation, "Naga Fireballs", drew inspiration the strong religious beliefs and reverence for the naga among the people in the northeastern region, particularly those residing along the Mekong. The team comprised Kusol Boonkorbsongserm from Shangri-La Hotel and two independent artists, Amnuaysook Srisook and Kritsana Wongtes.
The Thai team celebrate for the second best in the competition. (Photo: Welcome to Sapporo Event Information Facebook)
Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) governor Thapanee Kiatphaibool said the return of the event was an opportunity for Thailand to show Thai culture, tradition and beliefs to the world through ice sculptures. The presence of the country could also promote foreign arrivals to the kingdom, she added.
Mongolian artists won the hearts of the judges with their sculpture titled "Warmth" showing a fox sheltering a baby from the cold weather. The sculpture was described as "warming the heart with a calm feeling even when it is cold," the organisers wrote on its Facebook account.
Securing the third position was a team of South Korean artists from Daejeon, presenting their artwork named "Harmony".
"Warmth", an ice sculpture created by Mongolia, is the winner. (Photo: Welcome to Sapporo Event Information Facebook)
This year, the sculpture event featured nine teams from seven countries.
Thailand has been a consistent participant in the competition since 1991. Over the years, they have clinched the top prize on nine occasions.
The famous Sapporo Snow Festival on Hokkaido Island ended on Wednesday.