In this coming new year of 2022, with years of experience of the geometric ice structures, we are challenging ourselves to build a more complex and delicate sculpture in ice in collaboration with organizer & curator AllRightsReserved on research & development – a new KAWS COMPANION Sculpture bracing the fierce snowstorms.

Construction Process

Jan 6th 2022,"KAWS:HOLIDAY" is making a stop in Changbai Mountain, Baishan City, Jilin Province China. Within the setting of Changbai Mountain with an altitude of 2,750 metres, KAWS reveals a new dialogue with his iconic characters: two monumental COMPANIONs sit together amongst the mountains as they marvel at their surroundings.

After a half-year research and preparation, Structural Ice made the structural design and calculation of the ice sculpture. Together with AllRightsReserved we discovered a new construction method, to realize the delicate KAWS COMPANION sculpture precisely in ice.


video:@nk7 @AllRightsReserved

Sustainable Reinforced Ice

Due to the complexity of the COMPANION sculpture, an inner model of the sculpture is necessary. The surface of the inner model was covered with a fabric to ensure a solid connection between the reinforced ice and the inner model And above that, our most familiar material - a layer of 5 cm reinforced ice is applied.
(For more construction details please find in"construction process"page)

As a sustainable material, reinforced ice using natural fibers, such as wood, blending with the ice to strengthen it, generating an extremely reliable building material. Not only it is 3 times stronger than normal ice but also makes it possible and easier to form the complex shapes while keeping the structural strength.

This discovery could hold solutions for temporary construction in cold area, events or even a Mars mission. In extreme temperature area like Arctic circle and Siberia, where is very hard to bring common building material to those area and where only material around that area is available, transferring cellulose to these areas would be an easy and sustainable way of constructing reliable structures.

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Endless Possibilities

As what KAWS said in a statement: “With all of the challenges people are facing around the globe, I think it’s a very important time to have public art. This location in the Changbai Mountain is such an incredible environment and it’s an honor to have the opportunity to show my work here. I hope that people take some time to come together, break their usual routine of daily life, and have a meaningful experience with the sculpture and landscape.”

Structural Ice are pursuing all the possibilities of ice structures, from dome to tower, to 3D printed grid shell, etc. The cooperation opens a new door of possibility and meanings to make ice sculptures for us. What are we going to build in the future? Please looking forward to it and share your ideas with us!

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Credits to:

Organizer & event partners

Artwork by: KAWS

Organized & Curated by: AllRightsReserved Ltd.

Sponsored by: The North Face

Venue supported by: Changbaishan Luneng Resort

Engineering & Technical Support: Structural Ice - Core Team:

Project Manager: KU Leuven - Yiling Zhou

Project consultant: Eindhoven University of Technology, Assistant Professor - Arno Pronk

Construction Manager: Nanjing University, Research Associate Professor - Qingpeng Li

Structural Engineer: University of Liege - Elke Mergny