Japanese variety show “TV Champion 2” held an origami competition last week with Chuya Miyamoto challenging Satoshi Kamiya. Below are three video clips which showed their amazing origami skills… [Hat tip to Japanprobe]

The origami artists’ creation with a restaurant receipt… Miyamoto created a restaurant employee with the restaurant logo featuring at the centre of the apron; Kamiya created a cow with its calf

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Chinese workers have made a huge drum, decorated with 480 lanterns in Dalian, Liaoning Province, China. The drum measures 6 metres in length and 4.8 metres in diameter, with Chinese word rat (鼠) embedded at the surface on both sides of the drum to celebrate the coming new year.

Chinese calendar is represented with 12 zodiac animals for every 12-year cycle in specific sequence – rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, sheep, monkey, rooster, dog and pig. Next year will be the year of rat (begins on Feb 7 on Chinese New Year to be precise).

Giant lantern drum in Dalian, China Giant lantern drum in Dalian, China
Workers working on the drum in early December (Image courtesy of Xinhuanet)

In Chinese astrology, the 12 zodiac animals represent different character and luck for a person depending on his/her birth date and time. The months and hours of Chinese calendar are also categorized by the same group of animals in particular orders, but some formal terms would normally be used instead of the zodiac animals when referring to months or hours.

Chinese master potter Wu Ruishen (吴瑞深) has created a mini teapot weighing just 1.4 grams. The ceramic teapot was revealed on Nov 15 and is claimed to be the smallest teapot in the world.

The 73-year-old Wu is a renowned pottery artist in China, specializes in creating teapots. His artworks can be found in various museums in China.

World smallest teapot
World smallest teapot
World’s smallest teapot (Image courtesy of Dayoo)

Piece of advice… don’t try to compare metal artwork with pottery. Clay doesn’t share the same element as metals and it’s not easy to make potteries into thin and small components; it would break before it was done.

Besides, a teapot is different from “something that look like a teapot”, go figure.

Meng Jie, a Chinese citizen from Mudanjiang, has modified his bicycle to assemble the emblem of the Olympic Games – five interlocking rings of blue, yellow, black, green, and red.

The next Summer Olympic will held in Beijing, China next year (2008). Mr Meng has plan to travel a few places with his modified bicycle to spread the Olympic love.

Bicycle with Olympic emblem
Bicycle with the emblem of Olympic Games (Image courtesy of Xinhuanet)

Macao gaming tycoon Stanley Ho has bought a rare bronze horse head plundered by British and French troops in the 19th century for HKD69.1 million (USD8.84 million) and donated it to the motherland last Thursday (Sep 20).

Bronze horse head from Old Summer Palace, China Stanley Ho and bronze horse head
The bronze horse head and Mr Stanley Ho (Image courtesy of Xinhuanet)

The sale set a record in the trade of Chinese sculptures from the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911), Sotheby’s Hong Kong said in a news release.

The deal stopped the national treasure looted from the Yuanmingyuan (the Old Summer Palace) being auctioned at Sotheby’s autumn auction in October.

“We do not agree with cultural relics which were smuggled, stolen, or looted in wars being auctioned,” Song Xinchao, director of museums department at the State Administration of Cultural Heritage, told a press conference on Thursday in Beijing.

He thanked Ho for his “patriotic act” and said the administration welcomes donations of cultural relics from abroad.

“I feel honored to have played a role in saving lost Chinese cultural relics from overseas,” Ho, 85, said in a statement.

Ho was ranked 104th on Forbes’ list of billionaires this year, with $7 billion in personal wealth. [Crienglish]

Amazing insects origami by kiri-origami (cut origami) artist Taketori.

Japanese insect kiri origami
Insect origami [Taketori’s website; hat tip to Pinktentacle]

House of China (瓷房子), a landmark building in Northern Chinese city of Tianjin, opens on Monday (September 3). The building is clad with 400 million porcelain pieces, took 5 years to complete, and reportedly cost USD65 million on decorations.

China House opens
House of China opens (Image courtesy of Xinhuanet)

Most of the porcelain pieces and vases are from ancient Chinese dynasties, which include some precious jade figurines and rare jewels… hence the outrageous cost.

House of China, Tianjin House of China, Tianjin
The exterior of the porcelain decorated house (File images courtesy of Crienglish)

Biscuit-maker Jacob’s had created some ‘biscuit sculptures’ which were exhibited at Junction 8 Shopping Centre, Singapore in mid-August.

The sculptures were made by stacking their famous crackers into models of famous buildings around the world, including the Eiffel Tower (France), Great Pyramid of Giza (Egypt), Tower Bridge (England), Esplanade (Singapore), Petronas Twin Towers (Malaysia), The Great Wall (China) and Taj Mahal (India).

Biscuit sculptures in Singapore
Biscuit sculptures at Junction 8, Singapore (Image courtesy of Shadyone)

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