The Great Wave off Kanagawa created between 1830 and 1831 by Katsushika Hokusai is today the world’s best-known woodcut, a famous symbol and an icon of mass culture. Due to its widespread popularity, this image is a great source of inspiration for many and is a source of tribute, imitation and reinterpretation. Its form has been applied in art, fashion, music, film and major media. But never before has its image been officially used by LEGO.
The three-dimensional Great Wave project, made with LEGO bricks, was completed just a few days ago by Japanese Jumpei Mitsui, the youngest of the 21 young people in the LEGO Certified Professional team of builders.
His unusual feat required more than 400 hours of work and over 50,000 blue and white bricks. The more than one-and-a-half meter construction includes the great, stormy wave and the three oshiokuri-bune boats, the traditional Japanese fish transport barges.
In order to create a true-to-life design, Jumpei Mitsui analyzed academic papers on the subject, sketched out a starting model and only finally assembled everything.
Jumpei Mitsui’s Great Wave is now part of the permanent collection of the Hankyu Brick Museum in Osaka, Japan‘s first exhibition space for LEGO works.
Words by Federica Cimorelli