Chen Forng Shean

Chen Forng Shean


Calligrapher, sculptor, microminiature-painter

Chen Forng Shean creates sculptures, but not ordinary sculptures, many of his creations cannot be seen without a high resolution microscope. Chen can engrave a poem on a string of dental floss, paint a portrait on a watermelon seed shell, as well as engrave on the wings of a fly, a sesame seed, or a grain of sand.

Deep in the heart of Ankang, Xindian District, New Taipei City, world-renowned micro-carver Chen goes about his work silently. Each and every one of his artistic creations is breathtaking, to the degree that they have to be seen to be believed. Chen uses a variety of materials in his work such as paper, wood, bamboo, cotton, stone, sand, metal, and household articles – dental floss, toothpicks, toothbrushes, grains of rice, matches, noodles, threads, eggs, and watermelon seeds. Chen even carved on ant heads and wings of flies and dragonflies.

Chen first became interested in micro-carving after learning that, in ancient times, Chinese students took miniature books with them to cheat in the imperial examination. The books the students used to crib were approximately 10 centimeters in width. Not to be outdone, Chen went ahead and engraved a miniature book that was 0.08 centimeters in width.

Chen has several miniature books in his collection, each of which took about two years to complete. Among Chen′s works, the 75-page, 10,000-word “300 Tang Poems” weighs only 0.35 gram with a 0.9 centimeters length and width; the popular Japanese children′s story of “The Peach Boy” contains the full text of the story written in Japanese and weighs 0.43 grams and; the 56-page “Snow White” is engraved in English and weighs 0.6 grams with each letter of the alphabet measuring only 0.3 millimeters.

He currently holds four titles, one of which is the Guinness World Records for his five character quatrain micro-engraving on a sesame seed.

“Viewers may feel the same way as calligraphers do. Revelation of the power of the brush is always a gem to both the calligraphers and the viewers. The combination of strokes is a bridge between artists and viewers as well as the most touching part of art work”.