Bamboo Insects [Noriyuki Saitoh]
At first glance, Noriyuki Saitoh （齋藤徳幸）'s insect collection triggers an instinctual recoiling, as any close encounter with a stinging wasp or prickly legged grasshopper will do.
Each creation is so detailed and realistic, it seems it must be an actual insect that has crawled its way into the collection of bamboo-based renditions that you are expecting.
But taking a cautious, closer look, you'll notice these are all indeed handmade works.
The 50-year-old Japanese artist has been crafting wooden insects for the past 10 years.
His bamboo bugs are all actual size - meaning, quite small, which highlights his talent and creativity working with the medium.
Delicate appendages link together with realistic joints; wings show accurate venation and membranes; and wispy antennae taper off into nothing.
The critters come as standalone models you might see perched motionless on a branch, and in action poses: hornets building a nest, leafcutter ants carrying away foliage, a praying mantis ready to devour a just-captured butterfly meal.
To create his insects, Saitoh uses a standard assortment of hobbyist implements like X-Acto knives, precision tweezers, soldering iron, and so on.
And while his collection of insects is extensive, there's one he likes best:
"The most fun to make is the mantis,"
April/May 2018: Spies Like Us