Lego

Posts tagged
with Lego



Art

Elaborately Constructed LEGO Universes by Artist Ekow Nimako Envision an Afrofuturistic World

April 20, 2021

Grace Ebert

Detail of “Kumbi Saleh 3020 CE” (2019). Photos by Samuel Engelking. All images © Ekow Nimako, shared with permission.

Hundreds of thousands of sleek, black LEGO structure the utopic universes by Toronto-based artist Ekow Nimako. Ranging from life-sized figurative sculptures with an eccentric twist to sprawling landscapes mimicking dense metropolises, Nimako’s artworks are rooted in the visionary realm of Afrofuturism, which “explores the intersection of technology and race to visualize a powerful future for the African diaspora” through a hearty dose of hope and strength.

His ongoing series, Building Black, is an expansive collection that encompasses fantastical masks inspired by West African tradition and mythological characters that draw on folklore and proverbs. Another facet includes a broad, architectural sculpture that expands 30-square-feet. The 2019 work is titled “Kumbi Saleh 3020 CE,” a reference to the capital city of the ancient Ghana Empire that’s thought to have contained a mosque, a central square, and various circuit walls.

 

Left: “Simis” (2019). Right: “Esun” (2020)

Running through each of these artworks is a fluid understanding of time and space that blurs the distinction between generations, locations, and histories in order to imagine a new reality. “We are all living proof of our ancestors, all their joy, love, knowledge, and pain. They live in our DNA,” the Ghanaian-Canadian artist says. “Aesthetically, I enjoy taking elements from bygone eras and creating futuristic landscapes, particularly of African utopias to imagine a liberated existence for us all.”

That blurred temporality that foregrounds his sculptures and installations parallels his own trajectory, as well. “My art practice developed when I was four years old, as I constantly told myself I want to do this (play with LEGO) forever, and sometimes it feels as though my future self communicated with my past self, astrally perhaps, to ensure this very specific destiny manifested,” he says, noting that the plastic blocks have remained a fixture in both his personal and professional life since becoming a father.

 

“Kumbi Saleh 3020 CE” (2019)

Today, Nimako works solely with black LEGO, a choice designed to distinguish his practice from the iconic brand. “My distinction was that I wanted to make artwork for which the medium was secondary,” he shares. “The form and content, the embodiment of life, always comes first with my work.”

In 2017, Nimako published a guide to LEGO animals, Beasts from Bricks, and plans to continue teaching with a tutorial for building afrofuturistic worlds that’ll launch on his site this June. He’ll be included in a  group exhibition at Onsite Gallery starting in June 2022 and also has a solo show slated for October of next year at Dunlop Gallery in Regina, Saskatchewan. In the meantime, explore a larger collection of his elaborately designed universes on Instagram. (via Hyperallergic)

 

Detail of “Kumbi Saleh 3020 CE” (2019)

Detail of “Kumbi Saleh 3020 CE” (2019)

“Kadeesa (Griffyx Cub)” (2020)

“Flower Girl” (2019)

Nimako working on a piece. Photo by Janick Laurent

 

 



Animation Food

A Soothing Stop-Motion Animation Bakes a Rich Chocolate Layer Cake Entirely from LEGO

March 30, 2021

Grace Ebert

When your next ambitious baking project doesn’t pan out, try your hand at a simpler recipe with just one ingredient. Follow Japan-based animator tomosteen through a stop-motion tutorial for a decadent cake layered with chocolate frosting that’s made entirely with LEGO. The ASMR-inducing animation chronicles the baking process from cracking an egg into a yolky block to watching the batter subtly change color to crumbling individual bricks of chocolate for the top. For similar pastry builds like French toast, churros, and a triple-layer cheesecake, head to tomosteen’s YouTube. (via The Kids Should See This)

 

 

 



Art

An Undulating Sculpture Recreates Hokusai's 'Great Wave' in 50,000 LEGO Pieces

December 14, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © Jumpei Mitsui, shared with permission

Japan-based artist Jumpei Mitsui is one of just 21 LEGO Certified Professionals in the world—this means his full-time job is to create artworks with the plastic building blocks—and is the youngest of the renowned group. He’s fulfilled this title most recently with a sculptural recreation of Katsushika Hokusai’s “The Great Wave off Kanagawa.” During the course of 400 hours, Mitsui snapped together 50,000 cobalt and white LEGO into an undulating wave that mimics the original woodblock print.

To recreate this iconic work in three-dimensions, Mitsui studied videos of waves crashing and pored over academic papers on the topic. He then sketched a detailed model before assembling the textured water, three boats, and Mount Fuji that span more than five feet.

If you’re in Osaka, Mitsui’s wave is on view permanently at the Hankyu Brick Museum. Otherwise, find a decade’s worth of the artist’s LEGO tutorials on YouTube, and follow his work on Twitter and Instagram. (via Spoon & Tamago)

 

 

 



Design

Four Adorable Prairie Dogs Peek Out of Kinetic Sculpture Constructed with LEGO

June 1, 2020

Grace Ebert

Designers Jason and Kristal Allemann, of JK Brickworks (previously), understand that prairie dogs have a tendency to scramble into their burrows at first sight of a threat, so the two LEGO enthusiasts have designed a kinetic sculpture that captures the rodents’ most endearing actions while above ground. The articulate animals are shown popping out of their holes, checking for predators in the distance, and wagging their black-tipped tails on a grassy platform constructed with the iconic building blocks.

The duo shares full parts lists and instructions for how to create the animals and their burrow on YouTube. Keep up with their dynamic projects on Instagram.

 

 

 



Design

A Perplexing Sculpture Constructed with LEGO Appears to Defy Gravity

April 23, 2020

Grace Ebert

An astonishing new sculpture by JK Brickworks (previously), a design team of Jason and Kristal Allemann, appears to defy gravity as it hovers in mid-air without assistance. Made of just a base, two rounded posts, and three small chains, the simple piece relies on tensegrity or tensional integrity. The design principle is based on the idea that a structure under compression within a system of constant tension will create a stable shape.

In this model, the LEGO pieces are compressed, while the chains are the prestressed tension members that provide the sculpture’s shape. When the top portion is lifted, the plastic links are in pure tension, which makes it resemble a floating object. If they caved in, the whole piece would topple.

To make your own tensegrity sculpture, get the full parts list from the duo’s site. Head to Instagram and YouTube to see more of their inventive models.

 

 



Design

LEGO Releases 864-Piece International Space Station Set That's Out of This World

February 1, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © LEGO

On February 1, LEGO launched a new Expert Creator that’s on a mission to explore outer space. Comprised of 864 pieces, the International Space Station set is equipped with a robotic arm for satellite deployment, a miniature dock, and two astronauts ready to traverse the built-in spacewalk. It also has eight movable solar panels, three cargo spacecrafts, and booklet detailing the history of the design. Fully built, the realistic model stands more than 7 inches high, 12 inches long, and 19 inches wide.

Christoph Ruge designed the kit as part of a proposal for the 10th anniversary of the iconic brand’s ideas program, which has released a variety of sets with themes like dinosaur fossils and The Flintstones. Get your own miniature spacecraft on LEGO’s site, and see if you can put it together in the 92 minutes it takes the real model to orbit the earth. (via designboom)