One man's tiny artistic vision

A Taiwanese artist has refused to see the big picture and instead captured the likeness of Taiwan's President-elect Tsai Ing-wen, who will take office on May 20, on a single grain of rice .

Chen Forng-shean, who has also sculpted the face of China's Mao Zedong on rice, said the staple was a fitting medium for his work.

"Rice gives nourishment to the proverbial belly of the ethnic Chinese people. I used rice to encourage Taiwan's leader, Tsai Ing-wen, hoping that she can take care of the common people so they don't need to endure hunger, and improve their financial situation," he said.

He outlined the facial features and accompanying Chinese characters with a needle-point pen before carving and then dabbing black paint into the grooves. It took three months and more than 10 attempts before he was satisfied.

He said Ms Tsai had pledged to work for Taiwan's people. "'(Be) modest, modest and even more modest.' I wrote this sentence of hers onto this grain of rice."


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 22, 2016, with the headline 'One man's tiny artistic vision'. Subscribe