Ice sculpture made from river water in Harbin, China

Sculptors from nine different countries are competing to carve art out of ice cut from the river at an annual festival in northern China.

The artists went head to head in the frozen northern city of Harbin at the 26th ice sculpture competition held at the annual International Ice and Snow Festival.

Wanchalerm Sukseekao, a Thai professional ice sculptor who works in Dubai, was not used to working on this scale.

"The ice, it makes me scared, because in Dubai it's small, but here it is big. You know in Dubai you see the ice is fake ice."

Last year's champion, 37-year-old Latvian artist Karlis Ile, said the material's appeal lay in its ability to hold light.

"You see the light, how it reflects, how it breaks the light. And it's more playing with light. And so I specialise in ice and try to make all these ideas which are not possible to make in any other material."