Eggshell artist depicts Mandela

Mandela carving a quirky salute

ROSE CAWLEY
Last updated 05:00 18/12/2013
Jim Xue

EGG ART: Jim Xue holds up his artwork.

Jim Xue
HEARTFELT: Auckland man Jim Xue carved his hero Mandela’s face onto an eggshell.

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As the news of Mandela's death broke, his images flooded the world.

He was plastered across televisions, newpapers and computer screens.

But Jim Xue has immortalised Mandela's face on to what must be one of the more weird and wonderful places - an eggshell.

"I heard the news that Mandela had passed away and I knew that I had to do something," he says.

The carving took the 50-year-old man two days to complete.

"I was feeling quite sad because he is a great man. South Africa used to be a big problem and with him as president the country became calm."

He says making the carving was his way of honouring his hero.

"In Chinese belief if you have a feeling deep in the heart that is not happy you need to try to bring it out and put it down into something," he says.

"And this carving is those emotions put down."

Mr Xue was first inspired to take up the unusual hobby in 1997, two years after he moved to New Zealand from China.

He has a collection of well over 100 carved shells and has used eggs produced by emus, ostriches, quails, ducks, budgies and, of course, the common farmyard hen.

Mandela's is one of several celebrity faces painstakingly etched into eggshells by Mr Xue.

Jackie Chan, Chopin, Beethoven and Sir Edmund Hillary also feature in his collection.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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