Japan-Based Sculptor Recreates ‘The Great Wave Off Kanagawa’ With 50,000 LEGO Pieces
A Japan-based LEGO artist employed his considerable skills to build a wonderful recreation of “The Great Wave off Kanagawa” using 50,000 cobalt and white LEGO pieces.
Jumpei Mitsui—one of only 21 LEGO Certified Professionals in the world—utilizes the colorful plastic building blocks to create sophisticated and fascinating works of art.
During a project late last year, which took some 400 hours to complete and 50,000 LEGO pieces, Jumpei reproduced the classic Japanese woodcut print by Katsushika Hokusai, “The Great Wave off Kanagawa.”
The original woodblock print (produced from 1823 to 1829) depicts an ocean swell that appears to engulf not only several boatmen, shown delivering fish to the city of Edo (present-day Tokyo), but Mount Fuji, lingering insignificantly on the distant horizon.
To reconstruct the classic work, Jumpei studied videos of crashing waves and academic papers on the topic.
Armed with sufficient facts from his research, he proceeded to sketch a detailed blueprint laying out the actual project.
Building up from the sketch, Jumpei laid a foundation with a gorgeously textured, undulating water surface extending 5 feet in length by 4 feet in depth. Set within this are three LEGO boats, Mount Fuji, and the breaking crest atop The Great Wave off Kanagawa, itself.
“This is the BEST WAVE I’ve ever built with LEGO bricks!!! ‘The Great Wave off Kanagawa by Hokusai,’” captioned Jumpei in a Twitter post.
Jumpei’s creation has since been put on permanent display at Hankyu Brick Museum, where anyone wanting to see the iconic work may find it.
Besides The Great Wave, Jumpei has completed other projects which he posts on his social media pages for viewers to enjoy. He also posts LEGO tutorials on YouTube.
In Japan, Hokusai’s masterpiece has long been considered a symbol of tsunamis, hurricanes, plane crashes, and the sheer power of the sea.
レゴで作った「富嶽三十六景 神奈川沖浪裏」を動画で撮ってみました。絵の登場人物の目線で楽しむことができます。 pic.twitter.com/V8TTIJ8l2D
— 三井淳平 / Jumpei Mitsui (@Jumpei_Mitsui) December 12, 2020