It's the Year of the Tiger and the Thrill of the Size

tiny tiger sculpture
A Tawainese man has carved what he says is the tiniest tiger sculpture in the world; it was created to celebrate the Chinese year of the tiger, which begins Feb. 14, 2010. [Credit: Reuters]
TAIPEI — According to the Chinese lunar calendar, the year of the Tiger will begin on Feb. 14, 2010 - and sculptor Chen Forng-shean is already celebrating. The 54-year-old artist from Taiwan spent four hours a day for three months carving a tiny tiger sculpture that's smaller than a grain of rice. The tiger is so small, in fact, that it's tiny enough to pass through the eye of a needle; it measures just one millimeter (.04 inches) in height and just over one millimeter in length.

Chen, who has been sculpting as a hobby for more than thirty years, carved the object from resin and claims it is the world's tiniest tiger sculpture. It took him ten attempts before he achieved the finished product, which is fully visible only through a magnifying glass.

"If the hands shake a little bit, the work would jump away and disappear," Chen explained to Reuters. "For this tiger, the toughest part is because it is three-dimensional. It can be looked at from any angle and still seem very lively. Coloring is also very hard," he added.

The tiger sculpture is estimated to be worth $94,000, but Chen says it's not for sale.


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