It’s summertime in the Philippines, and what scorchers the past weeks have been! Some friends and I spent Sunday morning at the beach to enjoy the breeze and the sound of the water splashing onto the shore. I used to frequent this same beach with my family when I was a kid, and I’d run to the water as soon as we arrived. But these days I usually stay on the shore and bury my toes in the sand.
I love sand. I’ve been to many beaches in my country, and no two have the same sand. Some are crunchy and gravelly, like the volcanic sand in Camiguin’s main island, and in Ilocos Norte. A close look at Puerto Galera’s sand would reveal multi-colored grains to match the different rocks that dot the shore. Panglao’s white sand is a bit pinkish, and soft and creamy when wet. Boracay’s is beautiful and bright, and surprisingly cool, even in midday. And every kind is beautiful to me, a testament to the geological processes, the persistence of the waters, wind, and sun in culling those grains through eons.
No surprise then that countless artists have fallen in love with sand as a medium, embracing its joys as well as the pain wrought by its ephemeral quality. It bends meekly to creators’ skills, only to submit even more willingly later on to the tides.
It’s amazing and mysterious how water is actually the glue that holds all the grains of sand together, and some of these sculptures are certainly gravity defying engineering marvels.
Taken a stick to the sand is something instinctive and familiar, and when taken to such a scale, it’s so powerful and overwhelming. These make me feel so puny!
This animated short film is sand art taken to heart-stopping heights. The fact that it’s a promotional material for a high tech gadget does nothing to diminish it.