If Lilliputians, the tiny people who figure in Jonathan Swift’s iconic fictitious story ‘Gulliver’s Travels’, were alive, they’d have certainly adored Taiwanese diorama artist Hank Cheng. This is because this miniature artist creates actual models of houses, grocery stores, and places he’s familiar with in miniature size, fit for those Lilliputians!
Cheng creates dioramas of real-life places to pay homage to his community. He hit upon this idea when he tried his hand at creating a Japanese restaurant that he frequented as a student. The end results so impressed him that he became hooked to diorama art and became a master of his craft. It was only a matter of time before he started devoting full-time to his work.
Cheng uses wood, metal, recycled materials, and anything else he can lay his hands on. Creating dioramas is certainly a back-breaking job since many objects have to be created from a scratch. It isn’t surprising to see him devote over 12 hours a day to his workshop. His toughest challenge is to create real-life dioramas from scratch out of this material. What’s more, he bases his miniature models on real-life locations, some with surreal twists. Someone has very rightly quipped, “His scenes might be small, but they each have a big story to tell.”
Cheng’s dioramas are certainly noteworthy. In one, he created countless miniature vinyl albums for a model of a record store, and in another, he created a back alley scene, complete with tiny glass bottles and a crate. It isn’t surprising that his realistic dioramas are much sought after. He sells them, not only to the locals but also to people from all over the world.
It seems nothing is impossible for this artist. He says candidly on mymodernmet.com, “When people ask me if there’s anything that I can’t make, I jokingly say, only air and sunshine!” It’s quite evident that the creative fire continues to rage in him, the reason why he continues to challenge himself to produce smaller and more difficult models. According to him, this is what relaxes him. His viewership on Instagram is over 167,000.
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