I traveled to China’s northeast for one reason – ice and snow sculptures. (Okay, that’s technically two but go away!) Despite that, I might have had the best experience at the Changchun World Sculpture Park! It’s a 5A tourist attraction in Changchun, China because it’s littered with sculptures. The whole park is 92 hectares (0.92km2) with 9,207 individual pieces! It’s one of the largest art galleries I’ve ever seen, and it’s mostly outdoors. You can walk around the park, with Moore Lake in the middle, and enjoy nature and art. If I lived in Changchun, this might be my favorite place in town.
Getting to the Changchun World Sculpture Park
The Changchun World Sculpture Park is in the southern part of the city. It’s just south of Nanhu Lake, below line 3 of the light rail. Unless you happen to live along that light rail line, the best way to get there is probably bus or subway! The Changchun World Sculpture Park has four entrances, one in each of the cardinal directions. The one on the west is the main entrance, and you’ll find the main bus stop as well as a ticket office with maps, a rest area, etc. I recommend entering from there for the best experience!
For buses, the best stop is 雕塑公园 (Diāosù gōngyuán). Buses 15, 66, 130, 163, 240, 252, and 270 will stop there! Each ride is just ¥1, so it is both more economical and closer to take the bus. If you want to take the subway, line 1 stops at the Municipal Government. This is useful if you come from the Changchun train station, as it’s a direct ride! The only problem is the stop is on the southwest corner of the park. You would have to walk either north or east to get to the west or south entrances, respectively.
Travel Tips for the Changchun World Sculpture Park
The Park is large. I was surprised at how many smaller sculptures there were, even though I shouldn’t have been! Because the Changchun World Sculpture Park is almost one square kilometer, it takes a long time to walk through it. Don’t underestimate the time you need to spend here! I spent about 2 hours, and I know I could have spent 3 or even 4 hours, especially in warmer weather. Tickets are ¥30 for the park itself, or ¥60 if you also want museum access. Since museum tickets are ¥30 each, just get a through ticket! Worst case scenario, museums are warm in the winter and cool in the summer.
If you want to hit the four museums, focus on the paths to those. In busier tourist times you should be able to take the tour trolley around the park instead of walking. The downside is you are prone to miss some of the smaller sculptures. However, you won’t have to take as much time walking from statue to statue.
Make sure to pick up a map as well! The main entrance (west) will have plenty of them. It shows several recommended routes you can take, and where to find some of the larger sculptures. The map is also super useful if/when you get lost! You won’t find any maps available anywhere else, so don’t forget it.
In the winter, the Changchun World Sculpture Park will have some snow sculptures! This is in line with the “winter in northern China” theme that Changchun and Harbin seem to have. In some of the larger squares (especially Spring Square), you can find large snow sculptures!
Museums at the Changchun World Sculpture Park
The four main museums are:
- Changchun Sculpture Art Gallery
- Wei Xiaoming Museum
- Songshan and Hanrong African Art Collection Museum
- Changchun World Sculpture Art Museum
There is also the Sculpture Experience Hall, which looks to be a place you can make your own sculptures. It wasn’t open when I visited though, so I’m not sure. The Changchun World Sculpture Art Museum, at the southeast corner of the Changchun World Sculpture Park was also closed. I didn’t see any indication of times of year that it’s closed, so jury’s still out on that one.
Make sure you hold onto your ticket! It has a QR code that each museum will scan before they let you in. If you lose it, you won’t be able to enter museums, even though you’ve paid already!
Changchun Sculpture Art Gallery
I wasn’t too impressed by this gallery. It was two floors but neither had too many things to catch my eye. I did see one exhibit with Olympics-inspired sculptures, including all the different colors and rings! Since the Olympics are one of my favorite things, I really liked that.
This art gallery is right inside the west entrance! After you buy your ticket and walk into the park, you should see it on the right. When you come back out, however, I would recommend heading to the left through the Aguste Rodin (French, sculptor of The Thinker) Square.
Wei Xiaoming Museum
I liked this museum a lot! Wei Xiaoming is from Beihai in the Guangxi Province, and about 200 of his pieces are on permanent display in his museum. They’re mainly made from a blue-green material and of naked women in various positions. One of my favorite sculptures in the Changchun World Sculpture Park is a soccer player in the midst of an amazing kick! Unfortunately you’re not allowed to take pictures inside the museum, though.
Songshan and Hanrong African Art Collection Museum
This is by far my favorite museum! Li Songshan and Han Rong are husband and wife who traveled throughout Africa starting in the 1950s or so, collecting all of these unique sculptures and artworks. There are over 12,000 individual pieces, and most of them are from Tanzania, Mozambique, Malawi, and Zambia. The best things to see here are the Tanzania Makonde wood carvings. They’re the little wood carvings with intricate detail that look like abstract figures of people. The whole gallery, despite the large size of the museum, isn’t that big. However, several of the rooms are absolutely filled with these and other carvings!
The African Art Collection Museum is probably the farthest museum in theChangchun World Sculpture Park. It’s at the northeast corner, so if you want to go make sure you set aside enough time to get there! The good thing is that you’ll see several awesome sculptures on the way and can even hit some of the squares in the park! (See the next section.)
Famous Squares at the Changchun World Sculpture Park
In the Changchun World Sculpture Park are several large squares. Each of them has something different, but they’re all good ways to enjoy the outdoors. Most of the famous sculptures or art pieces are around these squares, so take note of them! They include:
- Rodin Square
- Friendship Square
- Spring Square
- Michelangelo Square
- Peace Square
If you cross the Kaiqu Bridge from the west entrance, you’ll end up in front of the Spring Square! This is the most well-known in the park. The most famous sculpture, Friendship, Peace, Spring, is in the middle of it! It’s of three girls, each one representing one of the values in the name, entwined together. During the winter, you’ll also see several snow sculptures around the square!
My Favorite Artwork at the Changchun World Sculpture Park
A lot of the pieces around the Changchun World Sculpture Park are awesome. I am not an art lover, but I can appreciate visually pleasing works! These are some of the ones that I really liked:
Changchun World Sculpture Park in the Winter
In the winter, you won’t see very many people visiting. You also won’t see a lush lake or greenery. What you will see, however, are some snow sculptures and a frozen Moore Lake.
Have you ever seen a park like the Changchun World Sculpture Park? What was it?
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