A sculptor has carved a bust of Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) to thank him for his devotion to preventing COVID-19’s spread in Taiwan.
Chen has worked tirelessly without respite on the front line in the fight to contain the disease and safeguard Taiwan, 60-year-old sculptor Huang Tien-fu (黃添富) said, adding that it took him a week to make the 27cm bust.
Chen’s commitment to his task is evident by his daily news conferences at the Central Epidemic Command Center to update the public about the disease’s spread, including reports on individual infections, Huang said.
Photo: Chien Jung-fong Taipei Times
Chen has never been absent from these news conferences or sessions at the Legislative Yuan to update lawmakers, Huang said, adding that he was moved by Chen’s dedication and wanted to cheer him on.
“The minister has been doing a very good job. The public is aware of this,” Huang said.
Chen is effective and calm, and he is good at articulating things, Huang said, adding that Chen always answers people’s questions.
Huang, who has over the past 30 years dedicated himself to sculpting Buddhist statues, said that he had not made a bust or statute of a human likeness in years.
However, the underlying skills remain the same, Huang said, adding that he was able to craft Chen’s likeness from pictures he found online.
After finishing the bust, he shared it online, where the response has been positive, Huang said, adding that people told him it looked life-like and was an accurate rendering of Chen.
“I started off just wanting to do this to express my feelings, and I had no idea I would get this encouragement,” Huang said. “I am truly honored. It seems that it was the right thing to do.”
The most challenging part of sculpting a bust is the sides of the face, while accurately depicting the nose, eyelid placement, cheek width and position of the ears are also difficult, he said.
“Without looking at a person in real life, you do not know what the back of their head or sides of the face look like,” Huang said, adding that he asked a reporter friend to photograph the sides of Chen’s face during a news conference.
As he initially hoped to finish the bust within a week, Huang said he made it with a less time-consuming process using fiber-reinforced plastic, but added that he plans to recreate the work with copper.
He plans to send the bust to Chen, Huang said, adding that he also plans to sculpt President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) and Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌).
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