A three-meter tall military general and curvy, painted traditional vases — all made from snow — are dazzling Kirkland residents.
Artist Shufeng Zhang has turned his snow covered front lawn into a curated showcase of Chinese culture.
“I love art and I love Sculptures,” Zhang said.
The Kirkland resident has been busy during the winter months with his pandemic project, hand carving intricate snow statues.
Originally from Beijing China, Zhang says over the last two years he has been honing his carving skills, learning along the way. Using only household items such as a pie server and a cheese grater, Zhang can turn a block of snow into a piece of art.
One of the most notable pieces in his collection is a spear-wielding Guan Yu, a famous ancient Chinese military general.
Zhang says each of his peices hold a meaning. Guan Yu represents strength and loyalty. The coloured two meter tall vases standing in his driveway symbolize peace and safety. Zhang says these are all things that are needed to get through this ongoing pandemic.
“I believe they can keep me safe, and Guan Yu can bless me,” Zhang said.
He hopes his therapeutic work will also spread a bit of levity within the community.
Zhang’s work has gained a lot of attention online, and neighbours have been braving the snowy blizzards to see the sculptures in person.
“I feel almost back in China,” Herbert Chang said. “It’s nice to see these sculptures in the neighbourhood.”
Resident Susan Zimmerman and her friends say they went out of their way to see the progress of the outdoor gallery.
“Its impressive. It really is. They did a great job, ” Zimmerman said.
“Were going to continue walking everyday and look out for more,” resident Sattie Dookoo said.
It takes Zhang between two and three days to construct the carvings. He says he isn’t done yet. With the latest dumping of snow, more are on the way.
“I will do it everyday. I think this year I will make more than ten sculptures,” Zhang said.