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.

A big gulp in little China

This lovely modular bar, created by Chinese builder Tony Toy has a great deal of colour and style.  Tony manages to pull  the dark blue, red, green and gold together into an attractive modular-style building with some lovely architectural details. I especially like the red and orange lanterns hanging on the post outside the front of the building. The little white bridge over a pond is a nice touch and love the effect created  by using transparent plates overlying green plates for the water.

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Interestingly, it seems that Tony designed his creation digitally first using the free Lego Digital Designer application and then built it in ‘the brick’.

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A Fire Rooster to usher in the Chinese New Year

2017 is the year of the Rooster in the Chinese Lunar Calendar. The Rooster is one of 12 animals represented in the Chinese Zodiac calendar, but what is less known is that besides the Zodiac’s 12 rotation cycle, there is also an elemental cycle of Fire, Earth, Metal, Water and Wood — and this year is Fire.

Creator ZiO Chao brings us an exquisite LEGO version of the Fire Rooster. What’s unique about this brick-built rooster is the terrific shaping that gives volume to the bird, not only in its breast and wings, but also its feathered tail.

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The last cycle of the Fire Rooster was 1957 and the next won’t be until 2077. The five elements, also known as Wu Xing, are used in many other practices such as geomancy (Feng Shui), astrology, and even traditional medicinal practices to describe synergy and affinity between the other phenomena.

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A festive revamp for Turtle Tower in Hanoi

Turtle Tower sits upon an island on Hoàn Kiếm Lake in the historical centre of Hanoi, the capital city of Vietnam. This temple is a famous landmark in Hanoi and has been built in LEGO by Vietnamese builder Hoang H Dang. Given the time of year, some festive artistic license has been applied and the tower is now giving off some serious ‘Gingerbread House’ vibes. The actual architectural features of the temple have been nicely captured, especially the decorative stonework on the roof. The gingerbread decoration is cute with candy canes, a nice colour selection of ‘candy’, and Santa rowing over the island to deliver some gifts.

Hoan Kiem Lake temple island

Hoang Dang tells us that the lake was actually home to a very rare species of turtle which is now close to extinction. The last turtle that used to live in the lake sadly passed away this year leaving his cousins as the only two left on Earth, hence the small turtle on the left of the build.

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.

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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.

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Click through for more monkey madness!