I had the privilege of visiting Korea three times while growing up in Japan, but unfortunately I was too young to remember much. Which is a shame, because I would love to have seen the Sungnyemun, or “Gate of Exalted Ceremonies,” in Seoul. LEGO recently announced that this gorgeous structure — sadly destroyed by fire in 2008 — will be released on June 1st as part of the LEGO Architecture series.
Here’s the full press release:
Sungnyemun has stood in the heart of South Korean capital since 1398 as one of the most complete examples of Joseon Dynasty architecture. It is listed as the country’s foremost National Treasure.
“Sungnyemun survives as a symbolic marker of a lost place in time,” says the architect and designer of many of the LEGO models Adam Reed Tucker. In capturing the essence of Sungnyemun in LEGO bricks Adam looked at the aesthetics rather than engineering, especially the use of colours, patterns and materials that define the ‘spiritual DNA’ of a culture.
Construction of Sungnyemun started in 1396 and was completed two years later. Further alterations and renovations continued over the next 600 years. In 2008 the wooden structure was completely destroyed by fire and it is expected that the restoration – using traditional hand tools – will be complete at the end of 2012.
LEGO Architecture products feature well-known buildings, and the work of important architects. Aimed at inspiring future architects, engineers , designers and architecture fans around the world, the range contains a booklet featuring step-by-step building instructions prefaced by history, information and photographs of each iconic building, its design origin, its architect and its architectural features.
The LEGO 21016 Sungnyemun will be launched officially at the Danish Pavilion during the EXPO 2012 exhibition held in Yeosu, South Korea. It will be available for purchase from June 1 in LEGO brand retail stores, LEGOLAND Stores and online at http://shop.lego.com/. The product is designed for ages 12+ and includes a booklet with facts and history about Sungnyemun. Recommended retail price is $34.99 in the US and €34.99 in most European countries.
Matsumoto Castle is an unusual castle in Japan that has striking black walls instead of the more familiar white walls of Himeji or Osaka castles. Blake Baer captures many wonderful details, from the red balcony to the slats on the black walls.
Thanks to reader Jake for making sure I saw this.
Whether you are familiar with Lego podcasts, they provide unique knowledge about the hobby. LAML Radio and A Look At Lego Podcast are two sources I’m aware of that regularly post new episodes and interviews.
I want to highlight the most recent show from LAML Radio containing interviews with Andy Hung and Schneider Cheung, two of the most well known AFOLs in Hong Kong whose works are also familiar to many of our readers. Even though our interactions with the active and talented Hong Kong AFOL community are limited by the language barrier, we seldom cease to appreciate their works in the instances they were featured on the blog.
Click on the image below to download the episode of the podcast.
Flickr user lisqr has built this wonderful microscale model of one of the most impressive architectural feats in mankind’s history, the Great Wall of China. While the real Great Wall was several thousand miles long, lisqr employs a nifty series of connected vignettes to capture the wall’s serpentine path.
As OJ says over on The Living Brick, “The great thing about Japan and China using the same zodiacal chart but celebrating the New Year on different dates is that I get to do this twice!” Indeed.
Schneider Cheung celebrates the Year of the Dragon with the most wonderfully sculpted Chinese dragon I’ve ever seen.
Meanwhile, rack911 celebrates with a depiction of Cai Shen, the God of Wealth, complete with a golden dragon and a bowl for treasure.
Something I look forward to every New Year’s Day is the lovely LEGO creations by Japanese builders celebrating the new year, most often incorporating the animal from the Chinese Zodiac. I generally wait a couple days and do a roundup, but Moko‘s dragon is too gorgeous to share later.
(And since we get at least one comment about this every year, Japan celebrates New Year’s on January 1st every year. Chinese New Year is based on the lunar calendar, the exact date varies by year, and is celebrated by many other Asian cultures. Just not Japan.)
I’m glad that Mike Yoder (builder42) covered and added to maxvf1‘s amazing Valkyrie/Veritech fighter as it gives me an excuse to blog both. maxvf1’s is available on LEGO Cuusoo and was mentioned by Nannan a while back.
Unfortunately maxvf1 has restricted use of his pics so we’ll have to provide a link to the Gerwalk and Battloid modes.
Luckily Mike doesn’t.
And now maxvf1 doesn’t
Brickshelf user tkh has some brilliant manga/hobby characters in his galleries. His latest, one Melissa Seraphy, is particularly amazing.
I’m still not satisfied with my indoor, winter/rain/Seattle photo setup, so I’ve been playing around quite a bit with post-processing to make up for the less-than-optimal lighting in my recent LEGO photos. After I finally posted my completed microscale Tokyo that I’d built a year earlier, I went a little wild with this next photo. I ended up turning it into a 1960s postcard, inspired by Godzilla battling some sort of kaiju as a visiting King Kong looks on.
The scale varies within the scene, and is wildly incorrect for the Micropolis standard I used as the base, but my tiny Tokyo has everything I remember from the time I spent there in the 70’s and 80’s — old-style bullet trains and neon-hued commuter trains, brightly colored advertising cubes atop buildings in Ginza and Shinjuku, the ever-expanding industry around Tokyo Harbor, Meiji Shrine, the National Diet, and the iconic red and white of Tokyo Tower.
One of my favorite new themes at BrickCon this year was “World Architecture,” organized by Anu Pehrson. Her own contribution was one of my favorites — this gorgeous Hindu temple in the Nagara style of Indian architecture.
Anu provides a bit of background:
This is an Ancient Temple from India. This is the Nagara style of Architecture which was fully developed in the 10th century. Such Temples exist till date and are very much in use as a place of worship and pilgrimage. In Hinduism the devotee offers flowers and fruit to the ‘deity’ as a form of worship. Therefore we always see stalls selling garlands, flowers and fruit outside a temple. A visit to the Temple is not a sombre event, and could be and evening outing for the family or a ‘picnic’ Therefore one finds a ‘fair’ like atmosphere around the entrance.
Her beautiful diorama deservedly won “Best Architectural Style” at BrickCon.