Lego bricks, a toy familiar to children and the young at heart brings me back to my childhood nostalgia. The story behind “Lego”, from the Danish phrase leg godt, which means “play well”, appeals to both kids and adults. I bet you’re never too old for Lego! Lego has move out of the playroom and into the world of arts. I believe Lego is what it is, and you don’t have to re-invent it, but you can make something cool out of it. For the first time in Southeast Asia, the Art of the Brick will treat visitors to stunning displays of intricate sculptures made from Lego bricks, now till 14 April 2013 at Singapore ArtScience Museum.
Nathan Sawaya is a New Yorker artist who creates awe-inspiring works out of some of the most unlikely things. Like any other child, Nathan’s childhood dreams were always fun. As Nathan grew older, he had to put his bricks back into the toy closet and enter into the real world in which he worked as an attorney. Only after long days behind his office desk could he indulge in his passion of building Lego sculptures. He then realise that he could make a living doing what he loves best. Till date, his art exhibition is well-known in all over the world and deemed as one of CNN’s 10 Global Must-see Exhibitions.
There are a total of 7 galleries in the exhibition, showcasing his largest collection of 52 large-scale Lego sculptures. I’ll highlight some of his artworks that interest me.
The first gallery start off with an introduction of Nathan Sawaya and the first artwork that greeted me was this piece called “Hands”, which took him 3 weeks to complete it.
Sculpture of a swimmer. It took 15 days for him to complete this with 10,980 lego bricks.
Titled “Yellow”, one of his best known pieces consists of 11,014 Lego blocks. This piece is about the metamorphosis that he has been through on his journeys.
In the next gallery, this piece is rather interesting. It is not just a heart but was made up using recycled Lego bricks that has been donated. Rather than throwing it away, he transform into a colourful masterpiece called Open Heart. An open heart keeps nothing hidden. You can see it for what it is and see right through it.
Sculpture of a hand holding a red Lego brick with the thumb and index fingers. Try to appreciate each pieces by alternating between gazing at a distance and taking a closer look a few steps nearer. Maybe you can tell a different underlying story.
He attempted to create a replica of a regular sized apple. Subsequently, he then challenged himself to create a bigger scale of the apple.
Peace by pieces. What does it take to create peace? All the colours work harmoniously together. This sculpture was created using 3,720 recycled Lego bricks.
His works of art are not all wild imaginations. Each of his pieces has a story to tell. I find it inspiring and nearly every piece on exhibit is to make you pause for thought, wondering not just about the amazing versatility of Lego bricks but also the timelessness of those Lego masterpieces, which have aptly captured a wide spectrum of the fragile human life.
Everlasting. He states that love lives forever and I second that.
Triangle, Square and Circle Torso. These pieces depict that everyone has their own differences. Square, circle and triangle are fundamental building blocks and the colours yellow, blue and red are the primary colours of the world.
In the Portrait Gallery consist of framed portrait of famous celebrities. FYI, to show his passion towards Lego, he has imprint a Lego brick tattooed onto his thumb.
Here’s your chance to “Legolize” your portrait picture using this state-of-the-art system. I find out that you can do it via your iPhone apps. Lego Photo allows you to do the same too.
Giant pencil which is way taller then me.
One of my favourite gallery, The Emotion Box. These pieces are bound to kindle your interest and curiosity the moment they touch a chord with you. For instance, this piece called Mask, Nathan describe mask identifies the façade we hide behind. Human tend to hide their emotions and show only certain feelings they want others to see.
Wall. The higher you build the walls around your heart, the harder you fall when someone tears them down.
Ascension. Does love, faith and success lift you up?
This remind me of some evil character.
T-Rex Skeleton. This is so surreal. One of the largest sculptures he made which took an entire summer to build. This detailed sculpture consists of 80,020 bricks!
Look at how meticulous and detailed his sculpture is.
Last but not least, the prominent building, ArtScience Museum.
The best part is, you can sit here for hours and build to your heart content. I swear I can literally sit here for hours building with those colourful Lego bricks.
I build my own imaginary T-Rex but it turn out to be otherwise.
..and of cause my piece doesn’t complete with my personalised Lego name board. After viewing all his artworks in the entire exhibition, I think Nathan’s work is obsessively and painstakingly crafted. Both beautiful and unconventional but displays attest to one entity: Lego has miraculously morphed into a mind-blowing form of new art. His works have since taken the world brick by brick and there is no excuse NOT to visit, The Art of the Brick by Nathan Sawaya at Singapore ArtScience Museum.