left corner left corner
China Daily Website

Touching hands

Updated: 2012-11-27 17:41
By Pu Zhendong ( China Daily)

Touching hands

A sand-art piece created by Li Jiahang during a recent UNICEF event for children’s rights. [Photo/China Daily]

He has helped UNICEF produce a five-minute public service sand-art cartoon for broadcast soon in more than 100 countries and regions. Li Jiahang tells Pu Zhendong how he became a sand artist.

Li Jiahang did not think he would become a sand artist when he arrived in Beijing. With 800 yuan ($120) in his pocket, he could only afford to rent a tiny basement cell in Shijingshan district.

Fast forward four years later, 33-year-old Li is now one of the few famous sand artists in China. This year alone, he has held more than 100 performances nationwide, charging an average of 10,000 yuan ($1,600) for a 10-minute live show.

"Sand drawing transforms me from a nobody into a media magnet," Li says in jest. "People start calling me teacher, and that really boosts my confidence."

Among his latest projects is a live sand animation show which he did during a press conference organized by United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund and China Philanthropy Research Institute on Nov 20. The theme was children's rights.

He has also helped UNICEF produce a five-minute public service cartoon, to be broadcast soon in more than 100 countries.

"Li's sand drawing vividly conveys our care for the rights of the children," says Gao Huajun, vice-dean of China Philanthropy Research Institute.

Li's affinity with sand art started in August 2008 when his education training business in Zhejiang province failed. Feeling depressed, he started surfing the Internet and was attracted by a sand-art performance clip.

He watched it more than 10 times and began practicing on his glass coffee table, with a lamp lit from below.

"It was an epiphany of sorts," says Li. "I felt good to be able to do it."

Realizing that sand art is popular only in big cities, he moved to Beijing in December 2008. He found a job in an advertising firm and spent his evenings practicing sand drawing.

Previous Page 1 2 Next Page

  • Group a building block for Africa

    An unusually heavy downpour hit Durban for two days before the BRICS summit's debut on African soil, but interest for a better platform for emerging markets were still sparked at the summit.