Saturday, January 16, 2010

World’s tiniest tiger created in Taiwan is smaller than the eye of a sewing needle

By Nancy T. Lu

Taiwan’s best-known miniaturist Chen Forng-shean unveils every January his record-breaking microscopic creation inspired by the particular Chinese zodiac animal of the Lunar New Year.

Chen in celebration of the Year of the Tiger has a truly tiny tiger made of resin to show in his private museum in Xindian. “A Roaring Laughter That Rips Through the Air” is how Chen calls his latest masterpiece. The tiger, which is smaller than the eye of a sewing needle, is barely visible to the human eye.

“I spent three months creating this tiger,” revealed Chen. “Success came only after more than 10 failed attempts.”

Chen’s laughing tiger, which is best seen in detail under a magnifying glass, has a length of 0.12 centimeter, a width of 0.06 centimeter and a height of 0.1 centimeter. Try to visualize how small it is. It is not easy.

The introduction of the colors and stripes of the animal proved the most challenging part of making this miniature three-dimensional sculpture, according to Chen. Giving the tiger’s tongue a red color required total control and precision. A small brush stroke could easily slip out of place. Chen used a magnifying glass to carry out his creative exercise.

Watching Chen at work in his studio meant observing how he steadily went about creating something almost without moving his hands. When realizing a design, he seemed to even hold his breath completely.

Since ancient times, the symbolical depiction of the tiger has always implied a hope for accelerated ushering in of the auspicious and chasing away of the evil, said Chen.

The picture above was provided by Chen Forng-shean.

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