Saturday, May 16, 2009

Your Sandcastles Are Lame

Yeah. Nice try, buddy. No really, we're all VERY impressed with your masterpiece. Way to go, I'm sure the crabs are all very excited. It's a big step up from 'fill the bucket with sand and turn it upside down'. You're on your way to sandcastle stardom. Hooray for you.

Just don't quit your day job.

Oh, what's that? You've studied hard, and are ready to try again? Ok, I'll be waiting patiently. Oh, is that it there? Wow, you certainly have improved! No, really! I think I have a lollipop in the car for you, under my seat. Yeah, I was eating it and it fell down there, but you can have it. You've earned it with your masterpiece. What? You think I'm not being sincere? Am I showering you with false praise? Well, look buddy... I gotta come clean. That thing you've made there?

That isn't a sand castle, okay?


THIS is a sand castle!

Hot damn! This is another non-WoW post that you guys can all flame me for and call me a faggot or whatever you're going to do in my comments, but I went and saw some sand castles this last week up in Tottori, and holy moley prince of darkness riding to church in a hot rod, these things were incredible.

Tottori is a 3 hour drive from where I'm living (god! you're so lame! what a waste of time! you should have been studying Cisco configuration manuals! I know, I know... hush) and is famous for this sand castle festival thing they do in the area every year.

Um, that's made of sand. yeah. ALL images are clickable for bigger versions! Tell a friend!

Tottori is on the northern edge of Japan, and instead of a boring old beach they have an actual sand dune up there. Just, like, chillin next to the umi. I guess this is rare in Japan, or something?

Whatever. They take a bunch of sand across the street, and artists from all over the world come and build wicked awesome sculptures out of the sand, and it's up for a few weeks. Some are actual castles, but pretty much anything goes.

You can walk all the way around each one, and view it from every angle; so people don't just slack and build it into some wall, every side has something different happening. This picture above shows a face in one of the three sides of the 'THIS is a sand castle' from above.

This is another side, and we're still on the first one here. : / It blows my mind to see this in front of your face, just out in some park, and not locked up in a museum. Then you realize, this is never going to BE in a museum. Once the festival is over, bulldozers will come and chuck all this sand back in a truck to be dumped back on the beach until next year.

Humans are fucking nuts! I just don't get it sometimes...

Another thing you might not realize at first glance is the SIZE of these things... here's a zoomed out shot from the edge of the park:

The level of detail is incredible, considering they're working with SAND. Click any image for a larger version, but I still scaled them down a bit, to like 800px wide... my camera takes like 15MB photos when shooting RAW, it's a little bit silly. I'll come back to this one below in a sec, it was my favorite.

These next three are all the 'same one', too. Starting in front and strafing left.

The boat one here (below) won first place, apparently. I think it's cool, but ... man, like how do you even say 'this was was cool, but not as cool as the others' when they were all so bad ass?

It had some fairly intricate writing on the side, but I think my favorite part about this one was the ocean waves... they really look like waves. It was also very 'smooth', not a lot of rough edges, which the judges maybe liked, too?

On the back of the wave is what I imagine to be the Old Man Sea? His face is actually part of the wave, and all fractured. Like the spirit of the ocean, fighting against the ship, trying to sink it...?

There was another 'boat' one too, but I liked this one better... it was two guys in a canoe, fighting off a sea serpent...

... they're losing the battle, as the serpent has snapped their oar in two...

Another one I liked made me think of Ulduar and the Titans. OMGIXOYOUTHINKABOUTWOWTOOMUCHDUDE, yeah yeah, but LOOK:

How awesome is this dude?!

Is he cradling someone in his arms, holding them to his chest?


A few didn't seem to have so much of a theme going, but were just cool, period.

There were a few others, but I've already got a ton up here.

The last one was my favorite, and it actually wouldn't all fit in one picture. It was a huge panorama, depicting the story of Gulliver's Travels. The book on the far edge (which I didn't take a picture of head on) has "Once Upon a Time..." written on the first page. I had to take three photos and stitch them together in Photoshop. Bonus points if you can find my seams.

Click the above image for the 2000px wide version; but even then, it doesn't do it justice. So! Here's the three individual images, but blogger won't let me just dump the full rez images up there. I could host them on notaddicted, but meh, it's getting a bit late and I still got two episodes of Lost waiting for me :)

Anyway, yeah.

Next time you go to build a sand castle at the beach, just... look... don't bother, okay?

Heading into Tokyo again tomorrow for my wife's final interrogat--- err, interview. After that it's rainbows and lollipops as far as the eye can see, AMIRITE?



Posh said...

Thats what I call some impressive work. Amazing. I must say I also really liked the last one, epic scale and epic theme... :)

Good luck with the interview as well.

Tragedyx said...

The gulliver's travels one is probably my favorite. All of them are...nuts. I really can't think of a word to describe the feeling of taking a huge amount of time to create something, only to know it's going to be destroyed in about two weeks. Nuts is sufficient for now.

But yea, GG non-wow post, flame flame, douchebag, fag, I <3 anal beads. -Troll


oshin said...

I have to say (and I have said it before) I love your non wow posts, maybe i should go read regular peoples blogs or something.. but meh.

Those sculptures are insane however, the fact they will be destroyed in a few weeks makes you think, but it also reminds me that everything is fleeting too. Old paintings have to be restored every so often, and its going to reach a point where its all restoration and no original. Its the same with all art work, stone work gets eroded. Look at stuff from greece and eygpt, im sure its not a fraction near its former glory.

Krunchy said...

I've seen fancy sand castles before, but those sand sculptures you snapped make those other ones look terribad. Kind of reminds me of the ice hotel they make in Europe. It's this multi-week undertaking to make a huge building with ice sculptures, unique artsy rooms, and basically a fully functioning hotel (with bar), and it melts every year. They keep doing it though, and it looks awesome every time.

Nothing wrong with non-WoW posts, though. It says so right there in the blurb at the top of the blog page.

Stabs said...

Awesome sandcastles, one wonders though what they would have done had it rained.

Jong said...

i know this is a non wow post, but wow! those things are awesome. I like the first one and the ulduar boss one.

HP said...


Anonymous said...

simply wow..

what I really would have loved is to watch the artists while they were creating those...

Gouka said...

Funny how the writing on that wave from the winning sculpture is actually Dutch. Basicly the last thing I'd expect to see on a sandsculpture in Japan, but cool nonetheless. ^.^

And I also don't mind the non-WoW post. Enjoyed reading this post more than reading about SBF, so sue me!

Larísa said...

My parents used to live in Netherlands and there's two things about that country that impressed me: a huge tulipguarden (Keukenhof or something like that) and the sand castles. They arranged festivals with the kind of sculptures that you're showing on the pictures. And I reacted the same way as you: I just... wow'ed!
They really make you want to spend a day on the beach!

There's something special about sculptures in non-lasting materials. In Sweden we have a hotel that is built up in ice every year. Yes, a freaking hotel, with bar, beds, everything made in ice! And loads of ice sculptures as well. It's a beautiful idea. (and very succesful, there are tourists from all over the world coming to see it.)

David said...

Really interesting, but I can't help wonder what they do if it rains on the first day ;)

Of course, that could be 'cause I live in England...

Bonedead said...

You motherfucker, I don't come here to read some lollipop eating sumbitches ideas on fruity little sand castles! I come here for the WoW talk, and that's it!

FYI: I only read to the part where you said we're gonna be mad about it not being about WoW and felt compelled to skip the rest.

Also, I've been playing WoW on a free server with a UO ruleset, so I was really hoping for some WoW mumbo jumbo this time.

Dink said...

Those crazy asians... and sand.

Anonymous said...

Awesome pictures of an awesome events. So wished I could have been there.