Tag Archives: Asia

The diverse cultures and complex history of Asia continue to inspire LEGO builders all over the world. China, Japan, and Korea also have large and active LEGO fan communities that contribute to the global conversation through their LEGO models. This page features LEGO models inspired by Asia, coverage of events that happen in Asia, and background about models by Asian builders.

Have a prawn or a prayer with these Chinese-style builds

Indonesian builder Anton Budiono‘s latest two builds are both Chinese-style creations in the shape of a seafood restaurant and temple, presumably for quiet postprandial contemplation.  Both builds utilise the addition of the same bridge over to a smaller shrine that rests upon wooden decking. There are many details to admire in these builds but the roofs with their decorative ridges and fascia are a particular favourite of mine. There are so many nice little touches to be discovered, such as the telephone handsets forming the beams within the large red front doors or the Mixel ball joints used as structural decorations across the façade.

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The seafood restaurant cleverly uses the dark red octopus as decoration in one corner of the building, but Anton’s brick built lobster on the first floor corner is even better and worth a closer look!

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While the temple is a little more demure in colour, it also benefits from lots of nice details such as the cascading water feature on the left-hand side or the use of black palm tree tops as the lanterns at the front.  There’s more to see around the back on Anton’s Flickr album.

Chinese Temple

A quaint village of Ninjago

The world of Ninjago is rife with opportunities for exceptional fan-built LEGO creations, but oddly we don’t see them too often. One gorgeous exception, however, is this vignette of a small village by jaapxaap. The red oriental structures are highlighted with strands of gold, and the curved roofs are admirably done.

Ninjago Swamp City

This would look right at home next to the terrific Temple of Airjitzu set, which is currently $25 off on Amazon.

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Every window tells a story

There aren’t many things more brutal or impersonal than a 41-story public housing tower. Seen from afar, they almost look like prisons from the future. Sau Mau Ping was one of the first tower projects in the Hong Kong area. Construction began in the 60s, and even though most of the buildings have been torn down, the towers still house over 38,000 people. But this LEGO model inspired by the towers from Yan and Vincent is not brutal or impersonal at all. Each window decoration offers a glimpse into the personality of the person who calls this place home. And the brightly colored lamps in the courtyard are a reminder that this is a place of history and culture, not a prison. Being made of concrete blocks doesn’t prevent a house from becoming a home.

Sau Mau Ping Estate

This rendition might not be 41 stories like the real towers, but it is definitely a massive model that is interesting from many different perspectives. I challenge you to find two windows the same.

Sau Mau Ping Estate

Enjoying amazing street food in Hong Kong

Hong Kong is one of my top five favorite cities in the world, and my strongest memory of traveling there is definitely the food — not just excellent Cantonese cuisine but also some of the best Indian food I’ve ever had. CK Tsang has built a massive, Miniland-scale version of several dai pai dong, traditional open food stalls in Hong Kong, evoking delightful memories for those of us lucky to have visited the city. Whether you’re in the mood for noodles, congee, or milk tea, it’s a safe bet you can find it at a dai pai dong.

CK Creation:  Dai Pai Dong - Hong Kong traditional open food stall

Check out CK’s album on Flickr for more photos.

Illustrating culture with LEGO

ArzLan shows us there is beauty in simplicity with this stunning build. Included are various representations of Chinese culture, with a seated figure playing the Ehru (a two-stringed fiddle). Also pictured is a Go board, and supplies for calligraphy and painting.

There are a number of eye catching things here; the seated figure stands out in bright red, and the scroll background has brick-built calligraphy.

I particularly love the dragon brush holder. It’s so fragile and perfectly executed.

琴棋書畫

Kiyomizu temple in Kyoto built from LEGO, with special appearance by Kumamon

Talented Hong Kong LEGO builder Alanboar Cheung honeymooned with his wife in Kyoto, where the newlyweds visited Kiyomizu-dera, an early Buddhist temple founded in 778 AD, with the current buildings dating to the 17th century. Alanboar has commemorated their trip as a gift for his wife with this beautiful LEGO creation. Chock full of details depicting elements of Japanese culture, the whole creation sits on a brick-built scroll, complete with a calligraphy brush in front.

LEGO Culture of Japan - Kyoto Kiyomizu

The model features the main temple building on its hill, the accompanying pagoda, and the waterfall that gives the temple its name. In addition, Alanboar included LEGO recreations of his favorite memories, from Kumamon (the mascot of Kumamoto Prefecture, which is nowhere near Kyoto) waving Japanese flags beneath cherry blossoms and a trio of Children’s Day carp flying above to a beautiful princess on a bridge overlooking a couple basking in a hot spring (sadly without any snow monkeys).

There’s a lot going on here, so be sure to check out more photos on Alanboar’s blog. And if you enjoy this, you’ll also appreciate Alanboar’s LEGO mosaic of Hokusai’s “The Great Wave Off Kanagawa” we featured here a few months ago.

A belated dragon dance for Chinese New Year

Finnish builder Eero Okkonen admits that he’s not sure why he built this Chinese dragon dance scene (several months after the Lunar New Year), but I for one am very glad he did. With stellar use of transparent Bionicle flame pieces and a Ninjago “Dragon God” banner tile, I can almost hear the firecrackers and smell the smoke.

Dragon Dance

You can read more from the builder himself on his blog, Cyclopic Bricks.

Happy Year of the Monkey 2016!

Today is Chinese New Year, celebrated around the world by people from many different countries. According to the Chinese Zodiac, this is now the Year of the Monkey, so LEGO builders have been posting a plethora of simian creations in honor of our cousins.

Many of the LEGO models feature Sun Wukong, the Monkey King hero of the Chinese epic Journey to the West (and its many adaptations for film and TV). Donna Liem puts the iconic hero astride a cloud in the sky.

Gong Xi Fa Chai...

Click through for more monkey madness!

The Temple of Heaven, resplendent in perfection

Alex Hui brings us this gorgeous replica of the Temple of Heaven, a 15th-century structure in Beijing which is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Alex has masterfully recreated the intricate ornamentation on the Daoist temple’s walls, helped by the massive scale he employs. Although it doesn’t look it, the base of this model is around four feet in diameter, and the temple is almost as tall. Below is a picture of Alex posing with his creation.

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Reporting the news as the crow flies

Mike Dung has brought Aya Shameimaru from the Touhou Project to life in LEGO. Aya Shameimaru is a character who appears as a reporter in many of the games within the Touhou Project series. Aya covers the news in the fictional realm of Gensokyo and also belongs to the Crow Tengu species, giving her a height advantage when taking photographs. Mike manages to convey character details and also the fantastical nature of the game within his build.

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I have to admit that I really like all the crows, Aya’s wings, the crow seen flying just below Aya, and the clever use of the black hotdog part to show a crow flying in the background. Forced perspective is utilised particularly well in the microscale Shinto shrine that appears to lie far below Aya as she enjoys her birds-eye view of the world. The overall feeling is one of movement, distance and height, something that is not easy to achieve within a small build.

The Ruins of St Paul’s: glorious rather than ruinous

This impressive creation depicting the Ruins of St Paul’s by Alex Hui was built for the Macau X LEGO Exhibition. The model is deceptively large at nearly four feet tall.

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The Ruins of St. Paul’s, located in Macao, refer to the façade of what was originally the Church of Mater Dei built in 1602-1640 and the ruins of St. Paul’s College, which stood adjacent to the Church — both destroyed by fire in 1835. The sculptured motifs of the façade include biblical images, mythological representations, Chinese characters, Japanese chrysanthemums, a Portuguese ship, several nautical motifs, Chinese lions, bronze statues and other elements that integrate influences from Europe, China and other parts of Asia.

Ruins of St Paul's

Alex chose to build in a sufficiently grand scale to allow the carvings and sculptures to be accurately depicted in LEGO and took 6 months to complete the build. The model is approximately 1.2m high and is constructed solely in light gray and dark grey. The use of dark grey is very effective for highlighting the depth of the central sculpture and really captures so many of the fine details from the original. My own favourite part is the winged ‘Holy Spirit’ in the triangular pediment at the top, which symbolizes the ultimate state of divine ascension as seen in the zoomed image below.

Zoom in of the build