Yong (right) and Harun working on their ice sculpture, "A Big Catch".
HARBIN: The Malaysian team has won the third prize in the 28th Harbin International Ice Sculpture Competition in northeast China's Heilongjiang province.
With the sculpture themed "A Big Catch", 49-year-old John Yong and his partner Hotel Istana director Harun Jalil, 47, again made the country proud.
"Although we did not win the first prize this time, what matters is our art work has impressed the judges and other participants," said Yong, who participated in the competition for the tenth time.
The sculpture "A Big Catch" is an artwork showing a man catching a swordfish with a fishing net on a Bangau, a traditional Terengganu wooden boat.
Yong said the traditional Bangau of their artwork was the perfect feature to show Malaysian culture to the world.
A regular participant in snow and ice sculpture international competitions and a multiple-time award winner, Yong will be leaving Harbin for the Sapporo Snow Festival in Japan next month.
The Malaysian delegation led by Yong, a sculptor of Sugarcraft Baking & Culinary Academy Sdn Bhd, also included sculptor Vasan S Angalan, 46, and chef Mustaffa Kamal Othman, 32.
Vasan teamed up with Mustaffa for the ice sculpture titled "Different Objects".
The three-day competition which kicked off on Jan 6 attracted more than 40 ice sculptors from 22 teams representing 11 countries, including Malaysia, Australia, Canada, Netherland, Denmark, Singapore, South Korea, Japan, Russia, Switzerland and China.
All the contested ice sculptures will be showcased at Harbin Zhaolin Park. Admission is free.
Meanwhile, Noran Ujang, director of Tourism Malaysia's Beijing Office, said the ice sculptures of the Malaysian teams in the competition could indirectly help promote Malaysia.
"Through this, it will not only let the local people to see Malaysian culture or specialities, but also to let the participants from around the world to know more about Malaysia," he told Bernama.
The ice sculpture competition was the first activity that Tourism Malaysia was involved this year to promote Visit Malaysia Year 2014 (VMY2014). - Bernama