The World Peace Gate is a unique architectural element of Olympic Park in Seoul, South Korea, built for the 1988 Summer Olympic Games. Korean LEGO building team OliveSeon have recreated the arch in LEGO, complete with the colorful undersides of the “wings” extending outward from the top of the structure. The ground level of the park is no less detailed, with people walking through the park, enjoying the pools of water and bright pink flowers.
We’re very proud of our boy bands here in the West, with our One Direction and our Backstreet Boys and our Nickelback. But across the Pacific they’ve perfected the art to a whole other level. Here’s Jang Wooyoung from the band 2PM, LEGO-ized by our favorite Korean building collective OliveSeon:
Apart from the cute chibi-fication of the singer, and the fact that this thing was sculpted using the studs-up technique (which is pretty challenging for small character sculptures), I love the particular choice of costume here… It’s the one Wooyoung wore to promote his single ROSE, which actually featured him wearing a LEGO bow-tie. Bravo, sirs. I tip my hat to you! Even though I’m more of a BIGBANG guy myself…
I love this micro city-scape by LoctiteGirl. It is simply perfect. The backdrop brings your eyes in to the city, the lighting illuminates some parts and shadows other, creating a sense of mystery about the whole build. The congested city looks clean and symmetrical but every building is unique and has it’s own special features. This is masterpiece and I wish I could see it in person.
This last weekend in Seoul, the LEGO fan group Brickinside put on an incredible display! One creation in particular really jumped out at me. Built by Hayarobie, this vintage record player is full of awesome details. I especially love the transistors and other electronic wizardry going on there.
Tyler Halliwell is best known to our regular readers as a creator of amazing LEGO busts. So his latest work – depicting the Monkey King of Chinese mythology – is an ambitious departure in terms of its size and construction. We think you’ll agree that the attention to detail and the naturalness of this figure’s clothing and facial expression are completely mind-blowing!
We journeyed for several months across the Asian subcontinent, rescuing helpless villagers from all manner of demons along the way, to visit the mountain in which Tyler has been imprisoned for the past 500 years, so we could find out more about this creation…
BB: So how many hours and how many bricks went into this creation?
TH: That’s tough to estimate, but probably about 100 hours over the past two months, with most of it coming into shape in the past two weeks. There’s less pieces than you’d think, as it’s mostly hollow but for a technic frame. So if I had to guess, I would say around 1500 bricks.
BB: What inspired you to choose the Monkey King as the subject of your latest LEGO sculpture?
I can’t see a Korean Geobukseon, or Turtle ship, without thinking of the many hours I’ve spent playing Age of Empires II. Alex Jones’ (Orion Pax) armored battleship is a superb model of this beautiful style of Asian shipbuilding which LEGO builders rarely cover.
I don’t have much information yet on the Korean fan-event recently hosted in Seoul, but there are some stunning photos available on Flickr from Brickmaster_Kor. We will begin our brief sampling with “The Mini SEOUL Project“, the model that first caught my eye with its micro-river, unique focus and lack of non-LEGO clutter in the background.
Then we move on to Seoul Station, proving that Korea’s KORAIL-inspired Train-heads are in the game.
And finally a shot of the magnificent statues that mark the entrance to Kyungbok-gung palace.
It is also worth noting that there were a great many Stormtroopers and Imperial Guard present as well. It looks like the exhibition was a great event, be sure and click through the entire set to soak in all the details of this extensive layout. Congratulations to everyone involved!
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.
This time, I’m highlighting edulyoung’s LEGO creations for their beautiful simplicity:
Somewhere between minifig and miniland scale, edulyoung’s characters are truly unique. The woman’s costume deserves a closer look:
Based on the striped sleeves (and the text in the instructions), I’m fairly certain she’s wearing a Korean hanbok. Anybody out there know what TV shows or novels edulyoung is depicting with these LEGO creations?