Tag Archives: China

One of the world’s oldest cultures, China has given the world everything from fireworks to pasta. The culture and history of the “Middle Kingdom” continue to inspire LEGO builders all across the globe.

“Of all the noises known to man, opera is the most expensive” (Molière)

At the end of this month, some 150,000 people will cram themselves into the San Diego convention center to attend San Diego Comic-Con (SDCC). Meanwhile, on the other side of the Pacific about five times that number will be attending Ani-Com (ACGHK) at the Hong Kong Convention Center.

LEGO fans are well catered for at ACGHK, and the members of HKLUG always put on a good show. TKH has taken a break from his usual Anime style builds to create this amazing tribute to Cantonese opera especially for the event…

Pictured here in breathtaking detail and accuracy are two classic historical characters from the genre: the scheming bureaucrat Cao Cao, and the heroic General Guan Yu. If you’re not sure which is which, I’ll give you a hint: Like almost every detail in a Chinese opera, the color of the actors’ masks is highly symbolic. But the color code is the opposite to what Westerners might expect ;-)

When the map is unrolled, the dagger is revealed (圖窮匕現)

The above expression may not be familiar to English speakers, but you might think of it as the Chinese equivalent to “letting the cat out of the bag”. And like many common sayings, this one has a historical origin: In 228 BC, as a last ditch attempt to avoid invasion by its enemies, the nation of Yan sent a man named Jing Ke to assassinate the King of Qin. Using a map of Yan’s most fertile areas as bait, Jing Ke was able to get close to the King, and as he unfurled it, he pulled out a dagger that had been hidden inside.

Hong Kong builder Vincent Cheung (fvin&yan) has created this fabulous portrayal of the attempted assassination, in a style very similar to his Beauty and the Beast sculpture. I love the freeze-frame action of the characters, and of course the three-dimensional detailing on the map! Vincent was clearly influenced by folk art depicting the event, as you can see from this example:

Reaching for the sky in China

Spencer Rezkalla (Spencer R) is a master of micro-scale skyscrapers, and his models have been featured on TBB many times. That does not stop me from calling your attention to his latest project, however. The US may be known for cities full of skyscrapers, such as Chicago and New York, but nowadays most such buildings are being constructed in Asia and Spencer has now turned his attention to China, building the Shanghai World Financial Center and the Jin Mao Tower.

Lujiazui

The subtle curve and the way the façades intersect on the Shanghai Financial Tower is particularly noteworthy. A third skyscraper, called the Shanghai Tower, is currently under construction next to these two and is due for completion in 2014. As you can see from the picture above, Spencer has already saved a spot for it.

圖窮匕現 or A Knife to the Face!

I’m not completely sure what’s going on with fvin&yan’s latest effort, but the unfortunate fellow with the dapper hat is about to get a knife to the face! This model is simply stunning from top to bottom and features a pleasingly wide range of color. Perhaps one of our readers can help with the translation of the title and very brief accompanying text, the best I was able to come up with was “Poor included bei, also from Emperor Jing Ke Thorn”.

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Chinese landscape painting and jade seal

Ericmok from Hong Kong built a scene from Romance of the Three Kingdoms in the style of a Chinese painting, using monochrome shades to mimic the effect of a painting in black ink. The scroll background is a perfect way to frame the scene, making it very presentable.

Chinese Landscape Painting

His jade seal is also worthy of a mention, in which green and sand green are used to convey the texture of the jade. The characters on the seal say “Three Kingdoms.”

SignetSignet

LAML Radio interviews Andy Hung and Schneider Cheung

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.

The Great Wall Made Small

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.

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The Great Wall

Happy Chinese New Year!

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.

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Meanwhile, rack911 celebrates with a depiction of Cai Shen, the God of Wealth, complete with a golden dragon and a bowl for treasure.

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Beyond imagination: a LEGO exhibit in Hong Kong

The talented group of LEGO fans in Hong Kong have put together a large exhibit organized by and hosted in Cityplaza from April 15 – May 2. There are 3 sections of the display. The first features a panel of storyboards detailing development of the LEGO Company. The second is a display of 2,000 figures and large figure sculptures spanning over 30 years of minifig history.

The third and most exciting section is a display of 17 famous world landmarks and icons such as the Grand Palace in Thailand by Vincent Cheung, a pyramid from Egypt by ArzLan, the Saint Basil’s Cathedral in Russia by Schneider Cheung, and Tiananmen in China by Andy Hung. Some early pictures taken by Joey Kwok have been uploaded on Flickr. I’ll update this post as more pictures of the event show up.

Brick Adventure 2011 wrap-up

The annual Hong Kong Lego convention called Brick Adventure took place in late January of this year, and you’re probably wondering why we’re making an event wrap-up post almost two months later. Despite the late timing, we don’t want you to miss out on seeing many of the unique Asia-themed and high-quality models worth mentioning late than never. The article below was written by Matt Hocker (Brickadier General), who nicely summarizes the exhibit while pointing out some of the highlights of the show. You can see more pictures on Flickr.

For the past six months, I’ve been living and working in Mainland, China. With my Lego collection still in America, I’ve been going through ABS withdrawal. Thankfully, Hong Kong has a relatively large AFOL base and, as fate would have it, one of their exhibitions (Bricks Adventure 2011) coincided with my vacation. Having never been to an international event before, I didn’t know what to expect. What I found was that the Hong Kong Lego fans were very welcoming and organized a wonderful show, filled with wonderful creations. While there, I definitely got my Lego fix and then some.

With this being its second year running, Bricks Adventure is an annual Lego exhibition run by the AFOL group, Legend Bricks. Unlike American events, which are usually four day affairs, Bricks Adventure was held over a whopping ten day period (down from a 17 day period last year), and the show was open to the public every day. In 2010, the exhibition drew in 13,000 visitors, while 11,500 showed up this year. Considering that the event was seven days shorter, this year’s attendance was actually stronger than 2010’s.

With thirty-five participants, Bricks Adventure was run on a relatively smaller scale than many events in Western countries. However, don’t let the seemingly small numbers fool you. Truth be told, this dedicated group of AFOLs churned out a slew of awe-inspiring MOCS and, clearly, the emphasis was on quality over quantity.

A wide variety of themes were represented, which kept things fresh and held one’s interest. A personal favorite of mine was the collaborative Japanese train layout by Andy Bear, William Wong, Alynn, and Schneider Cheung. They did a fantastic job of making a cohesive display, filled with tons of detail. There was also another wonderful collaborative train layout, featuring European inspired buildings. One particularly interesting building was the Paradisa hotel, which made excellent use of curves.

Other fantastic collaborative displays consisted of the themes of World War II, castle, and pirates. The techniques employed in crafting the hull and masts of Arzlan’s Chinese junk made it a MOC worth drooling over. The castle display was also fun to look at, especially with its splashes of humor here and there, such as the girl tossing a pig to a swarm of hungry gators in the castle moat.

Mechs were well represented. For example, Icedpluscoffee had impressive renderings of the “twins” from Transformers, as well as an APU from The Matrix Reloaded. Although he wasn’t present at the exhibition, one builder from Taiwan (Tsan-Nien) still shipped two of his mechs over to Hong Kong for display. Now that’s dedication!

A word also needs to be said about Schneider Cheung, who can crank out awesome studs-out sculptures in what seems like no time. For me, his most memorable pieces were a Chinese New Year lion head and seated Buddha, which was placed within the Japanese display. He also had some MOCs that looked good enough to eat…literally!

Overall, being able to attend Bricks Adventure was a more than memorable experience. For many Hong Kong AFOLs, this was the first time they were able to see their displays set up, and it was an honor for me to share in their enthusiasm. Without a doubt, Hong Kong’s Lego fans are as lively as the city itself, making an event like Bricks Adventure well worth visiting.