Japanese LEGO Builder Recreates ‘The Great Wave off Kanagawa’ Out Of 50,000 LEGO Bricks
The Great Wave off Kanagawa is one of the most renowned examples of Japanese art. This masterpiece is an 1831 woodblock print by Japanese artist Katsushika Hokusai in the late Edo period. To pay tribute to the most famous image in Japanese art, Japan-based artist Jumpei Mitsui created a large-scale 3D version of Hokusai’s masterpiece. And no, this sculptural replica isn’t made out of stone, wood or clay. It was made out of LEGO blocks.
Mitsui is one of the 21 LEGO certified professionals who have turned their passion for LEGO blocks into a full-time or part-time profession. This Japanese artist is the youngest among the pool of LEGO certified professionals. His LEGO creations are mostly inspired by animals and architecture. But his latest creation revealed his keen interest in classical art as well. By using 50,000 LEGO blocks, he recreated the world-famous print. It goes without saying that recreating a 2D print is much more challenging that recreating actual objects.
Japanese LEGO Builder Recreates The Great Wave off Kanagawa Out Of LEGO Bricks
The Great Wave is the first print in Hokusai’s series Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji. It depicts an energetic yet graceful wave that appears to engulf three boats and the boatmen while the diminutive Mount Fuji stands in the distance. The woodblock print seems to symbolize the enormous power of nature and the weakness of human beings. To capture the iconic image, Mitsui had to study the consistency and movement of rogue waves by reading books and watching videos. It also helped that he used to live near the sea when he was a kid. So, he had already seen and observed a lot of real waves before.
Mitsui first drew a sketch of the famous print to detail the final model. After which, he spent around 400 hours putting together 50,000 LEGO bricks to build the 4 feet x 5 feet replica. The LEGO version of the print is currently on display at the Hankyu Brick Museum in Osaka, Japan.