Taiwan artisans fuse reality and fantasy in miniature worlds

From a bucolic rural grocery shop to fictional battlefields and robot warrior bases, Taiwanese artisans are meticulously handcrafting miniature worlds that fuse reality and fantasy. Illustrative photo When he is not designing interiors, 51-year-old Hank Cheng can usually be found in his studio conjuring tiny but intricately detailed scenes. “I like to try to make anything, whether it’s clean, old or dirty, to let my imagination run wild,” he told AFP. His creations range from a replica of a 40-year-old grocery store in central Taiwan that caught his eye, to an imaginary “secret maintenance base” for a legion of Minions made from a discarded Minion-shaped cookie box he recycled. “When people ask me is there anything I can’t make, I joke: ‘Only air and sunshine.'” In his youth, Cheng studied illustrations in Japan, where miniatures and dioramas have long been popular. But he only started making miniatures himself five years ago, after spotting a photo of a Japanese artist’s work that was so realistic he thought it was real at first sight. Recycling is a recurring theme for Cheng, who was raised to cherish finite resources in a thrifty family. One of his most detailed pieces is a painstakingly accurate… Read full this story

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